Hi All! Thanks for popping in and taking the time to meet me. My name is Lisa Leden. I was born and raised in Rockton Illinois. My childhood involved playing outside, riding bikes, and getting into all sorts of mischief! Having grown up in Rockton, I attended Hononegah High School. After high school, I moved to Charleston Illinois, where I attended Eastern Illinois University. When I graduated from EIU with my bachelor of science degree in zoology, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, so back to school I went! This time I attended Northern Illinois University where I received my Masters of science in Biology. For most of my professional career, I have been a teacher at both the high school and college levels. I love teaching, and more so, I love learning!
So, how does someone who is formally trained in the sciences take up photography? I mean, let’s be honest, science and art rarely mix. For me, it happened with the birth of my second daughter. At 21 days old, Ellie, was diagnosed with albinism. This would change everything about how I saw the world. My spirited, beautiful, child would push me to learn how to use a camera. Then without even trying, she would help me discover the beauty in the world that I had been overlooking for so many years.
Photography is a journey. It felt natural in the beginning because there is a very technical side to using a DSLR. It is actually science! This was great for me. I got to learn about the color of light, the speed of light, the direction from which the light was coming, and depth of field. I felt really at home in the beginning. However, after mastering the technical side of things, it became art. This was the most challenging part for me. Remember, art and science mix in an individual about as well as oil and water. But, here I am making an emulsion! This art keeps evolving, which speaks to my love of learning. I’m pretty sure that it will keep me on my toes for the foreseeable future!
When I’m not photographing, I’d say I was homesteading. My family and I live out in the country. We have a large garden that produces enough food for us to eat throughout the summer as well as preserve the extras for the winter. Additionally, we raise our own livestock. We always have egg laying chickens, and depending on the time of the year we may also have a cow, pigs, meat chickens, or goats. I love knowing where my food comes from and letting my children be part of the experience.