As a photographer, it is a truly a pleasure to see one of your images on the front page of a publication. The Tourist News wanted to display the Festive Nubble Light for their September issue honoring the lighthouses of Maine.
The Tourist News was founded in 1958, and is a three-season arts and entertainment newspaper circulated throughout Maine’s south coastal region. It is enjoyed by year-round residents, seasonal residents and vacationers.
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Reprint of the Article
Robin Keus Fine Art Landscape Photo Exhibit at The Whitney Galleries
By Steve Hrehovcik
Robin Keus loves to get lost. As a fine art landscape photographer, Keus often loses himself, both in a physical and emotional sense in his quest to create a dramatic photograph.
Once he trekked through the backwoods searching for an ideal setting for a photo, only to find he had wandered far off the beaten path. It took a half hour to find his way back.
Another time, during the winter, Keus found a panoramic beach scene just as the sun hovered over the horizon. To shoot a balanced composition with a large rock on one side and a row of buildings in the distance on the other, together with the colorful cloud cover, he kept shifting his camera. Lost in the creative process, before he realized it, he was ankle deep in icy cold ocean water.
For Keus, getting “lost” is his way to find ways to produce a series of vivid photographs of landscapes that capture the colorful detailed beauty of the four seasons of New England.
More than a dozen of his fine art landscape photographs are on view at the Whitney Galleries, 1810 Post Road, (Route 1) Wells. Many capture images of local scenes such as beaches, harbors, lobster boats, lighthouses and the rocky coast.
While Keus has been fascinated with photography for many years, he made the important career decision to follow his dream to become a full-time photographer just two years ago.
Born in Holland, Keus’ parents moved to the Boston area while he was a youngster. He grew up in the North Shore and earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in 1984. He and his wife Cynthia relocated in Wells in early 2012.
While he dabbled in photography, he pursued a successful career in engineering, both on the drawing board designing projects and in management. Although he enjoyed the challenge and rewards of the job, it required extensive world travel and long times away from home. After a number of years he felt burned out and frustrated.
Keus says, “I knew if I continued in my engineering work I would not be happy. In 2012 while driving in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, I came to a stop light. I realized I had to make a momentous career decision. If I turned left I would continue with my engineering work. If he turned right I would visit my long time friend and mentor Richard Messina to ask his guidance on how to proceed. My instincts told me to turn right and found it was the correct move. My friend advised me to follow my heart and use my creative energy as a photographer.”
In the two years since Keus made his decision to become a full time fine art landscape photographer he has created a body of work that captures views of the four seasons in vivid detail.
To create his signature photos Keus has created a three step process. Keus says, “First I explore various locations to find a setting that I believe will make a dramatic photo. This is often the most time consuming part. Second, I go back to the location with my camera equipment when I know the lighting will be right and shoot the pictures. Third, I take the digital files and enhance them using a few image-editing software programs. Each step is dependent on the other as I envision how to make the final photo a colorful rendition of the original scene.”
To complete the process requires a fourth step, which Keus coordinates with his printer and framer, Claude G. Breton of The Framer’s Workshop & Fine Art Gallery in Wells. “Claude has 40 years experience printing and framing pictures,” says Keus. “I enjoy working with him because he understands how to reproduce a faithful rendering of the scene and enhance it with complimentary mats and frames.”
Keus follows the tradition established by natural black and white photographer Ansel Adams. Adams pioneered the technique to use extended exposures to capture as much of the image as possible with his camera. He then processed film in his dark room using chemicals to create his trade mark vivid reproductions of natural settings. Today improvements in camera equipment and computer technology give photographers like Keus greater flexibility to create their photographs.
Among other photographers Keus admires are Peter Lik, who is considered the Ansel Adams of color, Alain Briot and Rodney Lough. Each specializes in landscape photography.
Often accompanying Keus on his photo shoots is his wife Cynthia. She takes photos of Keus in the act of taking his photographs as a way to document his progress.