The hallmark of Lou Nettelhorst’s teaching style is his eagerness to share his professional experience and techniques, while always providing encouragement and humor. Lou is fully immersed in sharing his talent through community college courses, outings, presentations, local and national workshops and private instruction.
Lou’s images have been published in Nature’s Best Photography,
Outdoor Photographer, North American Nature Photography Association’s (NANPA) Member Showcase and Chicago Wilderness Magazine, as well as many newsletters. His photography has also earned numerous fine art exhibition awards. During his eight years as chair of the NANPA High School Scholarship Program, Lou received NANPA’s Outstanding Service Award and the Russ Kinne Recognition Grant. In 2010, he received the Kohout Outstanding Nature Photographer’s Award from the Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association (CACCA).
Lou is also a member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG) and Riverwoods Nature Photographic Society (RNPS).
My life is a four-dimensional jigsaw puzzle; the fourth dimension is moving me through time. As I journey through my life, I recognize ideas, books, people and other things that belong in my puzzle. I just put the piece aside waiting for the day when I realize where it fits to complete another beautiful section of the image. My puzzle knows no bounds and won’t be complete until I die – – even then, I know it will continue to connect with the lives of others.
Leonardo da Vinci said that, “Everything is related to everything else.” Photography helps me see both the connections that run through my life’s puzzle and the details of each piece. My Dad first opened my eyes to the beauty of nature. Through these eyes I learned to see and experience shapes, patterns, rhythms, hues, tones, textures, and balance, which wove their way in and out of my photographs from an early age. My experience in noticing the individual puzzle pieces is like using a magnifying glass to see details. I’m just drawn into intimate relationships with those pieces and my subjects. As I’m working a composition, feeling my way into the image, I literally zone-out to this special place, and it’s just me and the subject – – a flower’s dancing petals, a butterfly’s delicate wings, a bee’s intense collection of pollen, a building’s texture, a leaf’s fine edges, or the peaceful quality of reeds peering through misty waters.
Chekhov said, “If you want to work on your art, work on your life.” That is exactly what I am doing. The more I analyze the completed sections of my life puzzle and the assumptions which caused me to place the pieces together, the more I find my art following right along. My photography is revealing more intense emotions, color and sense of belonging than ever before.
In critiquing my recent work, a photo editor with a major publishing house wrote, Lou photographs close-up . . . fine art images of plants, critters, and nature patterns. Intensity, powerful color, bouncing form, and dramatic, emotional play characterize Lou’s creative photographic style. His “knock your socks off” framed prints are displayed and sold at upscale art fairs, [and] exhibitions . . . . As a viewer, you’ll want to crawl into Lou’s scenes and become one with the flora and fauna!
My photography is my love, with all its meanings. It brings me great joy. I offer it to you for your own experience.