Remembering Leslie Elias, Beloved Friend of the Yuba (1954-2013)

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There are so many beautiful views of the Yuba — being able to see them is easy, but being able to capture the essence of the river in a photo is an art.  SYRCL’s Board, staff and many supporters are mourning the passing of one of the Yuba’s most talented photographers — Leslie Elias — who passed away after a short illness on July 8th at the age of 59.

Leslie was born in Ukiah on June 25, 1954 and graduated from Evergreen College in Olympia with a degree in marine biology. After graduating, she spent time adventuring around the world including working as a marine biologist on the Great Barrier Reef and with National Geographic researching whales in the Maui Channel. Leslie arrived in Nevada County in 1987, started exploring and photographing the Yuba’s canyons and immediately fell in love with its drama and beauty.  Luckily she shared her images with us, creating stunning photos of the Yuba in all its seasons. Her black and white, intensely detailed compositions help us see the shapes, natural forms and light of the river in ways we would never have seen without her as our guide.

SYRCL worked with Leslie over many years, printing her images in our publications, on our posters, and presenting her framed photos as awards and thank you gifts. The timeless beauty of her photos is treasured by many of us.

SYRCL will be showcasing Leslie’s photos of the Yuba at our new office and at the 2014 Wild and Scenic Film Festival.  We offer condolences to her family and will remember her generosity and her talent with great fondness.

By Janet Cohen, former SYRCL Executive Director

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  1. Ben Elias says:

    A nice tribute. Thanks SYRCL and Janet Cohen for the thoughts.

  2. Amelia Fitzgerald says:

    Leslie was born January 25th, 1954….Beautiful tribute to one of Nevada County's most gifted photograher's. The Yuba River was her passion.

  3. Steve Wertz says:

    She deserves the accolades. Wonderful pictures from a wonderful person. She chose a great place in nature to exercise her talent as a photographer!

  4. Kayle Martin says:

    Leslie's stunning photography will continue to grace the hearts of those who knew her as well as strangers alike. Thank you Leslie for your heartfelt love and talent and for leaving a legacy for so many to enjoy.

  5. Joan Gilman says:

    Thank you SYRCL for remembering our dear Leslie. She and the Yuba will resonate with us in our hearts for eternity.

  6. Donna Wood McCarty says:

    I'm sorry I did not get a chance to know her. She was an amazing woman!

  7. Mikail Graham says:

    Leslie was such a sweet soul, thanks for your words Janet…

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