Lee Peterson Oceanside Fountain OMA Interior

Lee Peterson


September 25, 2010 - January 9, 2011

Award-winning San Diego photographer Lee Peterson presents a new series of photographs in his exhibition Focus on Oceanside: Lee Peterson. Through his unique lens of vision, Peterson documented Oceanside in both a natural and provocative way revealing his constant observing mind. Images of the Oceanside Pier and the Harbor to the San Luis Mission Rey highlight the icons, local history and the intrinsic beauty of Oceanside. In his photographs Peterson marvels over the simple things in everyday life that go unnoticed enabling visitors to reflect on their surroundings. As Lee says, "The things that go unnoticed are often the things we need the most - reflections and emotions". He sees the world in visual metaphors and moods and through the use of photography records the happiness, sadness, abstraction and concreteness of the world we live.

Lee Peterson has dedicated his life to photography. He has mastered the technical skill of the camera and the ability to visualize the intangible and construct powerful images that speak of imagination and spirituality. Focus on Oceanside not only highlights places of legend, but the unnoticed buckets of daily catch on the pier, the murals around town and other everyday scenes that endear Oceanside to its community. Photographs in the series range from abstract to representational and surreal. In his globe series Peterson is able to manipulate the picture plane to create a spherical image where one end of the photo morphs into the other establishing a distorted image in the shape of the earth.

Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1941, Lee discovered photography at an early age when a test pilot in Texas gave him his first camera and darkroom lessons, let him use a 3x4 folding camera to make photos of his model airplanes, and encouraged him to "dream a lot". From then on the camera became his travel companion. His father's career kept the family constantly on the move, and before settling into high school in San Diego Lee attended 16 schools in 12 states. This gave him the wanderlust to keep on exploring.

Lee has eclectic interests, and he began early testing them all out. Flying, biking, SCUBA diving and free diving, and surfing introduced him to many photographic opportunities. His science background earned him a position in the military where he worked on photographic engineering projects at Edwards Air Force Base. He developed his own underwater camera housings and strobes and formed Marine Camera Distributors to sell a multitude of systems to professional underwater photographers. He was one of the founders of the San Diego Underwater Photographic Society in 1961. He now runs the San Diego Photodistrict community and his own Photographic commercial business. He is still traveling the world over exploring and working and educating.