Seattle, WA – Photographer William Lee Brown is not your typical, everyday photography nerd. In fact, he only owns one camera, and two lenses, all of which cost him less than $500. “I shoot what I like,” is his simple mantra, and it works for him. When he invited us to his current apartment in Kirkland, he showed us some rare but exquisite photographs that exhibited a contemporary and fresh take on natural light photography, with subjects including graffiti walls and industrial, abandoned areas.

Seattle, WA – Photographer William Lee Brown is not your typical, everyday photography nerd. In fact, he only owns one camera, and two lenses, all of which cost him less than $500. “I shoot what I like,” is his simple mantra, and it works for him. When he invited us to his current apartment in Kirkland, he showed us some rare but exquisite photographs that exhibited a contemporary and fresh take on natural light photography, with subjects including graffiti walls and industrial, abandoned areas.

 

Brown has attained something of a mythic status in the photo world, mostly because both him and his work are so hard to find. When asked about his latest work on graffiti walls, he replies suspiciously that he doesn’t think it is right for us to see them at that time. Although he’s taught and worked with world-class photographers for more than two decades, he chooses to keep his work private, showing them sometimes to close friends; even the photos included in this article took some negotiation to be published.

 

What inspires him? Mr. Brown is a connoisseur of fine Japanese culture, which embodies the subtle details of everyday life. He brings this into his photographic style, which is one of a pure shooter, and instead of seeing with his mind, he sees with his eyes. Mr. Brown lives the pure artist lifestyle to give maximum thought to his photography, with no other jobs, something uncommon among artists today. He has lived from coast to coast in the U.S., which has given him an expansive and knowledgeable worldview. Not only has he been a mentor to many with his signature “William-ification” of photographs, but he has often inspired in people with a refreshing new sense of seeing photography. If you are able to find his photographs, savor them, as they are hidden gems in the rough.

 

Two Photography

 

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