A photographer for over 20 years, Leila May loves to “create beautiful photos that evoke a sense of space and unique viewpoint”—and she does it through her incredible attention to both contrast and depth.
Leila earned her BFA in photography from Art Center College of Design and is now working as a digital photography teacher in Southern California while creating photographic series of subjects like desert landscapes and dandelions.
I found Leila’s dandelion photographs (like the one below) to be simply breathtaking.
In this series each light-colored flower is set against a dark background for maximum contrast—which accentuates the detail of the flower head, the seeds attached to it and the fine hairs spiraling away from the center.
Leila not only creates photographs with strong contrast, but also with incredible depth. Take this commanding flower, for example:
The placement of the three central, open flowers is deliberate—they sparkle amongst the shaded buds and become the focal point of the photograph both because of their location and their sharpness.
The background is filled with the rest of the blurry plant, creating incredible, flawless depth. Beyond the plant is darkness once again, forming a vintage, almost dreamlike perspective.
Leila’s panoramic images are well worth a look, too. Here, the backdrop is a light, cloudy sky—and dark, craggy tree branches are in the foreground, acting as a curtain of sorts to the mountainous landscape behind.
I found myself peeking through the branches to see how far the landscape extends, and only then did I realize how large it really is. Once again, Leila expertly used contrast and depth to capture an almost unreal visual space.