My name is Lee Browning Ezell. I specialize in both fine art landscape and photojournalism, complemented by a variety of commercial projects as well. My work has been presented in respected galleries across the world, and I am available to hire for a multitude of business applications.
The purpose of this website is to provide you with a sense of the services I provide. Everything I do - my own fine art, a single commissioned piece, or catering to the media needs of a large organization - is approached with the same principal of quality over quantity. As such, I may not be the best choice for a small jobs with fast turnovers. However, if you wish for every aspect of your project to be thoughtfully considered down to the smallest detail, I am confident you will not find someone better suited to make your ideas look their very best.
Please have a look around. While my business has many facets, I have attempted to display them as coherently as possible. You can learn more about me and my process by reading further, view examples from my body of work through the menu at the top of the page, and of course feel free to contact me directly with any questions you may have.
As any good autobiography begins - I was born and raised in Arkadelphia, Arkansas in the USA. I maintain a strong bond with my wonderful family, friends, and the farmland I grew up on. I am happily married to a beautiful woman from Greece, who is also a competent photographer in her own right. In this way she constantly challenges and supports me as she provides her companionship, and in our travels between our respective homelands her family has become as my own.
The first ambition of my youth was photography. Over the years, my course has passed from law to the performing arts, computer science, and finance - all the while picking up useful skills along the way. However, my road has always led back to photography and I couldn’t be more grateful to have this as my focus in life.
My photographic inspiration, to be candid, began from nobody in particular. I was too young to recognize the identity of a specific artist; I only felt the power the visual arts had over me. As time passed, of course I came to appreciate the traditional masters such as Ansel Adams and study their methodical process. Having been a lifetime reader of National Geographic, I can attribute my strongest influence to the modern greats such as Steve McCurry.
From my perspective, it is not enough to simply photograph a place that is visually striking; to tell a story, a photograph must incorporate the deep threads of our world’s history for it to realize a greater purpose. This purpose should be for wholesome benefit of the viewer - to please the eye and stimulate the mind. This leads me on a quest to seek out the most interesting places and peoples of the world, not only to capture them, but attempt to understand their meaning as well. This is a journey without end, and my life is all the better for it.
BEHIND THE SCENES
As the old and often repeated adage goes, "It's not the camera that matters; it's the photographer that counts". While I certainly agree with this in a conceptual form, it does have a caveat in reality: a professional driver will most certainly perform better in a race car than in a golf cart if he knows how to use it.
To this end, I have invested a more than $100,000 fortune on the very highest quality photographic equipment money can buy. There is no single "best camera in the world" - but after an exhaustive research over many years, the long wait on special orders handmade from Germany, and a penchant for innovating systems down to the last detail in an obsessive manner, I now have what I believe to be the best in each category:
Linhof Technorama 617s III - Large Format Film - Landscape & Still Photography
The very best large format Schneider-Kreuznach lenses in existence, mated to a bulletproof metal body with shift capability, allowing for 100% mechanical operation in the world’s harshest environments. With an enormous film area almost 28 times the average digital camera sensor, almost 12 times the size of 35mm, almost 5 times the top $48,000 Phase One 100MP medium format digital back, or almost 3 times the size of a 6x6cm Hasselblad…the panoramic format allows a distortion-free perspective that no digital sensor can match - in a rugged package that goes where no delicate view camera could ever follow. There is literally no other camera like it in the world, and no other camera would open up the same creative possibilities in the great world adventures ahead.
Leica S (Typ 007) - Medium Format Digital - Portrait & Photojournalism
Widely regarded as the most coveted photographic brand in the world, I chose the very top camera that Leica produces based on two factors: unparalleled image quality, and an optical aesthetic no other lenses can produce. Sure, there are higher MP cameras out there - and they too will be outstripped in the future. If I want resolution, then I will seek a 250MP drum scan from my Linhof Technorama 617s III featured above. However, that camera takes a considerable amount of planning and effort to produce a single exposure...which needless to say, is simply not conducive for many situations. While other manufactures sought only the industry trend of higher and higher resolution (while corresponding sensor sizes are still too small to be practical due to the very nature of light itself), the 37.5MP of the Leica is more than enough for the intended purpose. I truly respect a company that focused on the actual usability of a fully weather sealed and portable medium format system and produced it to exacting standards of the highest quality. This allows me to not be limited in within a mere studio setting, but instead encourages previously impractical or even impossible quality to be brought back from the deepest jungles of the world.
Nikon D800 - Full Frame Digital - High Speed, High Risk, & Underwater
While the top resolution Nikon camera may not be in quite the same league as the Linhof & Leica systems, it does have one major advantage: speed. This camera type is built around a lightning fast autofocus (whereas the other two are primarily manual) and this comes in quite handy during certain situations. So whether it is a dangerous circumstance where one can't afford to risk equipment that can take years to be built again, swimming with sharks using special underwater rigs, or simply tracking an object moving past the speed of sound - sometimes it's nice to revert back to the conventional and rely upon old faithful once again.
F-Stop Shinn - Cinema Mountaineering Pack - Travel Solution
This is an example of how my wife (left) and I (right) might spread our equipment out between us on a typical journey. We pack far too much size and weight for a typical backpack, but the F-Stop Shinn is a new mountaineering platform specifically designed to carry large hollywood cinema rigs out into the field on long projects - and this suits our purposes exactly. Built with a full aluminum support frame, a waterproof rip-stop exterior, and a huge 80 liter capacity, it allows us to perform serious work in isolated areas usually relegated to lighter weight and far simpler setups.
DJI Inspire 1 Pro - Micro Four Thirds Photography Drone - Aerial Platform
There are a booming number of photographers specializing in aerial media, many of them exclusively, and I am certainly not to be counted among them. Compared to any other tool on this list, a drone is but a toy in my opinion - albeit a rather fun one. Large format film simply isn't practical as a remote controlled aerial solution, so in this case I would simply pursue the services of an actual helicopter to get me where I needed to be. When purchasing photography equipment, just as with any other investment, one must consider the rate of depreciation and obsolescence. At the highest end - such as Leica and Linhof - the value will be kept or even increase over time; quality doesn't go out of style. In contrast, I cannot imagine a faster evolving or more volatile sector of the industry than aerial drones. The Inspire 1 Pro can be attained for about $6,000 including an extra controller and 5 batteries, or in other words, a pittance compared to pro camera systems. However, I required an aerial solution for scouting locations for fine art, documenting the journey for photojournalism, and rounding out the services available to my commercial clients. I find that this newly released drone outperforms options that cost ten times as much just a few years ago. Coupling a best-in-class Micro 4/3 sensor mounted on a truly effective 3 axis gimbal, an overpowered and streamlined design to resist outside wind interference, and allowing a second camera operator to orchestrate smooth motion independent of the flight path - this solution takes care of everything I need short of an actual helicopter.