David Leaser was born in 1962 and grew up on a horse farm outside Hershey, Pennsylvania. He started taking pictures with a Polaroid Swinger on a first grade field trip, and he has been taking photographs ever since. The family raised and showed Arabian horses around the country, winning championships at the regional and national level. To earn money during summers, Leaser photographed horses for clients.

 

Years later, David published his first work, Palm Trees: A Story in Photographs, a photographic monograph on palms. The work led to commission for art and additional titles, including Tropical Gardens of Hawaii. On a photographic assignment in the Amazon, Leaser was inspired by the intricate detail in the small flowers on the floor of the rainforest. He returned to his studio in Los Angeles to begin work on a new venture: highly detailed, close-up images of botanicals.  Leaser is able to present to audiences botanical images as they’ve never been seen before: large format canvases that show flowers from a bees-eye view. After seeing his work, viewers have told the artist he has forever changed the way they look at flowers.

Biography

David Leaser was born in 1962 and grew up on a horse farm outside Hershey, Pennsylvania. He started taking pictures with a Polaroid Swinger on a first grade field trip, and he has been taking photographs ever since. The horse business helped him perfect his craft. The family raised and showed Arabian horses around the country, winning championships at the regional and national level. To earn money during summers, Leaser photographed horses for clients at horse shows.

A college class in photography at Pepperdine University taught David to think artistically about the medium and develop a personal style. He began shooting landscapes for pleasure, leading to the production of a photographic monograph on palm trees. Titled, Palm Trees: A Story in Photographs, the book received critical acclaim from the press, including the Los Angeles Times, Sunset magazine, Publishers Weekly and other media outlets. Botanical institutions, such as the Royal Botanic Garden in London, praised the work for its sumptuous photography, which showed palms more as living art than mere trees.

The work led to a series of commissions for additional works, including Tropical Gardens of Hawaii, a photographic adventure through the botanical wonders of the islands.

On a photographic assignment in the Amazon, Leaser was inspired by the intricate detail in the small flowers on the floor of the rainforest. He returned to his studio in Los Angeles to begin work on a new venture: highly detailed, close-up images of botanicals. Using techniques he created after months of trial and error, he developed what others are calling dettagli, extremely high resolution imagery of botanicals. Leaser is able to present to audiences botanical images as they’ve never been seen before: large format canvases that show flowers from a bees-eye view. By zooming in to macro range, the flowers are decontextualized to draw the viewer in to explore the extreme detail ever-present in nature that is often overlooked. After seeing his work, viewers have told the artist he has forever changed the way they look at flowers.

With his passion for still-lifes of botanical subjects, Leaser feels a kinship with botanical artists like Ambrosius Bosschaert and Rachel Ruysch. “My art is a way for me to capture the beauty of nature and bring it indoors to enjoy forever. Many of the subjects in my work have a lifespan of a day or two, so this is my way to immortalize these beautiful things.”

Leaser holds a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, where he received the Walter Annenberg Scholarship. Mr. Leaser is a member of the Professional Photographers of California and resides in Southern California with his wife and family.