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Style Magazine

Budding Artist

May 31, 2013 11:20AM ● By Style

Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.

Famed football coach Jimmy Johnson once said, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

That is exactly what happens with the images captured by fine art photographer Maleah Torney. Like California artist Wayne Thiebaud, she creates amazing images from simple ordinary objects, using her expert eye to photograph an image then enhancing the natural lighting and shadows using various computer programs. “The elements of the photographs dictate the subtle change,” Torney explains. The images—ranging from old railroad cars to a spent dandelion weed and nearly everything in between—are extraordinary.

This Oregon transplant loves flowers and is equally passionate about road trips. A busy mom and wife, she is an avid photographer and is always looking for new and interesting subjects. “My husband is my biggest fan,” Torney admits. “He has a travel job and is always scoping out probable locations for me to shoot.” Along with her husband’s busy eye, her kids also see possible things for her lens. “My kids are 7, 9 and 11 years old,” Torney continues, “so they see things from different heights.” The family is new to the region and loves exploring and learning about its rich history. “Everyone joins in looking for my next photograph,” Torney says. “It is something the whole family can be involved in.” Some of Torney’s favorite things on which to focus are old buildings and barns. “These buildings always remind me of a simpler time,” she says. “It is great to discover new things and see details you might miss by just passing by.”


Torney’s Caramel Apples

Torney got hooked on photography as a kid. Using a borrowed camera she shot photos of the Sea Lion Caves on the Oregon coast. At 11 years old, she entered her work in the Linn County Fair and placed in the show. “It wasn’t just the prize-winning ribbon that got me,” Torney says. “It was the discussion with the judges about my work that sparked my passion.” Her parents encouraged her to keep taking photos and a year later she purchased her very own camera. However, as any normal teen, the distractions of peers and school took her away from the art. She dabbled for years before seriously starting her fine art photography business, and in the last five years has become even more focused on her love for the camera.

What’s more, Hollywood has taken notice. One of Torney’s pieces, Modern Florals, was chosen to be part of a celebrity gift bag that was presented to the 2013 Academy Award nominees and presenters. The bags distributed at the GBK Luxury Gift Lounge in late February were a big hit with stars such as Robert Knepper and Evan Handle. “The celebrities loved the images,” Torney says. Locally, you can view Torney’s work at Taylor’s Art & Soul in Old Sacramento.

“I love being outside in nature,” Torney says. “It’s a form of therapy for me.” And for us too, since we have the pleasure of gazing at her amazing work.

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