About Me

Ren Mar Photography is a fine art photography and digital imaging services company located near San Luis Obispo, California, named after a contraction of the first and middle names of Renée M. Besta. Ren Mar literally means “reborn by the sea.” The name Ren Mar is also a contraction in honor of the first names of Renee and her late wonderful brother Mark. For more on the services offered, please refer to the Services page. To learn about Renée, please see the biographical information below.

Renée Besta is deeply drawn to photography as a means of personal artistic expression, being avidly engaged in the art form for over 35 years. She is a fine art photographer and printer, digital imaging and graphics instructor, technical writer, graphic designer and exhibit producer who resides on the scenic California Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, where she has taught classes in HDR photography, printing, image post-processing and stylizing, Photoshop, Lightroom and more. Renée is a former Resident Artist at Studios on the Park, a nonprofit open studios art center in the heart of historic downtown Paso Robles. She has also written technical articles related to printing and image post-processing for Breathing Color, and has often appears as a guest on the #AskBC series of podcasts.

Renée Besta

Renée Besta

An active participant in the local San Luis Obispo County arts community, Renée served as President of the Central Coast Photographic Society, a San Luis Obispo Museum of Art affiliated artist member group, from February 2008 to May 2011. She also served as a Photographic Society Board member for nearly six years. Renée held the position of writer, editor, and designer of the monthly Courier multimedia newsletter for the San Luis Obispo Camera Club from April 2007 through May 2010. She also wrote a monthly photography column, Photo Pulse: The Local Beat, for the former Slo Coast Journal, which covered the local arts scene. In March 2010, she was instrumental in launching the Photography Guild of the Paso Robles Art Association, which maintains The Showroom Gallery inside Studios on the Park in downtown Paso Robles.

Renée has garnered awards at the local and national level for her photography and printmaking in juried exhibitions and competitions, and has exhibited and sold her work at multiple fine art venues. She organized and produced several very successful, juried, fine art photography exhibits – complete with corporate sponsors such as Nik Software and Breathing Color – held on the California Central Coast.

Exhibition guest photographers and lecturers included the late Uwe Steinmueller of Outback Photo, Nova Scotia fine art photographer Stephen Patterson, black and white photographer extraordinaire Paul Roark, and QuadTone RIP developer and black and white photographer Roy Harrington.

Renée has become greatly smitten with UrbEx photography (urban exploration – the investigation of abandoned and derelict structures) and HDR (high dynamic range imaging), which go hand-in-glove, in addition to photographing the night sky. Her work has been published in magazines, visitors’ guides, books and newspapers, and she has done limited commercial work, photographing artwork for reproduction, shooting special events, and selling stock for use in visitor’s guides, books, and medical advertising campaigns.

Portrait of Renée Besta Signing a Print

Renée Besta Signing a Print

Renée is an accomplished fine art printmaker and produces exhibition quality prints for many Central Coast artists and photographers. She teaches digital imaging and printing classes, and offers consultation and photographic post-processing services, in addition to contributing technical blog articles and guesting on podcasts for Breathing Color.

A former biotechnology and clinical diagnostics researcher and marketing communications professional with a degree in Chemistry, Renée’s scientific training provided her with useful technical skills and served as the left-brain complement to the right-brain artistic process. She received training in platinum printing and produced black and white darkroom prints in her analog film days. One of her favorite quotes by famed photographer Richard Avedon sums up her feelings: “If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it’s as though I’ve neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up.”

Please visit her LinkedIn site for more information. Samples of her technical writing on HDR photography, post-processing, printing, and color management can be found on the Breathing Color “The Art of Printmaking” blog here (Part One), here (Part Two), and here (Part Three). Links to all Breathing Color blog articles Renée has written, as well as podcasts she has appeared on, can be found on the Publications and Podcasts page, under Education.

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