COURTESY PHOTO / LASZLO
Depth of field
BY STEVE HEISLER CORRESPONDENT
. . . teering with Reef Relief, helping put mooring buoys around endangered coral. Another volunteer was Wyland, the acclaimed sealife muralist (who 11 years ago opened a gallery on St. Armands Circle).
The two met while Wyland was painting the first version of the Whaling Wall at the end of Williams Street in Key West's historic seaport.
Both Detroit natives, they collaborated on a photo of Wyland in front of the wall that was turned into a postcard and raised $25,000 for Reef Relief.
Laszlo's own fortunes were beginning to pick up. He frequently took photos for the Key West Citizen newspaper and various Key West guides and magazines. Appearing in many of his shots, for the first time in the 1990s, were flowers.
"That's when the flowers started coming in," he said as he flipped through advertising photos he had taken for Key West hotels and kayak companies. "I started using flowers as some of the accent pieces in some of the settings here. I started getting into it."
A digital camera helped Laszlo refine his art, which he said is influenced by both painter Georgia O'keeffe and photographer Ansel Adams.
After moving to Sarasota in 1995, his images of the Fourth of July fireworks were used by both the Downtown Association and the Center for Positive Living.
At the same time, he kept a low profile as he shifted focus from commercial work to fine arts.
Well-known local shooters, such as Mary McCulley, Giovanni Lunardi and Jack Elka said they are familiar with Laszlo.
Photographer Frank Atura, who teaches at the Ringling School of Art & Design, said he met him once at Herb Booth's studio.
"I was introduced and we just chatted for a moment," he said. "There's a hybrid between commercial art and being a fine artist."
Photographer Leimbach said he's not surprised Laszlo isn't advertising his talents.
"I don't think he advertises in the Yellow Pages, he doesn't have a studio in strip mall or anything," he said. "He deals with customers individually."
That personal touch that helped him gain a reputation in the world of rock music is helping him in a different way now as he shoots flowers.
As with his rock music photos, the ability to shoot well-crafted, usable prints came naturally.
"That's one of my gifts," Laszlo said, surrounded by his photographs.
To those who know his work, the flowers gain a sense of intimacy as portrayed through his lenses.
Article © Sarasota Herald-Tribune. All rights reserved.