About Wild Light

  Email ▸ artimony at gmail.com

Painter and photographer Rick Lieder’s art has appeared on award-winning novels ranging from mysteries and science fiction, to books based on the X-Files TV series and Newbery Award-winning books for children. His fine art has been exhibited in galleries in the Midwest and Canada, and include painting, photography, and digital art.

His nature photography centers on ordinary backyard wildlife. These photographs capture the unique qualities of light interacting with the natural world, including luminous photographs of honey bees and small birds in flight, glowing fireflies mating and hovering over twilight fields, mosquitoes with a belly full of blood, and new-born praying mantis nymphs emerging from their egg cases.

His nature picture books are collaborations with award-winning novelist and poet Helen Frost, published by Candlewick Press.

STEP GENTLY OUT, published in 2012, now in its 9th printing. Starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly, along with a museum exhibition at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

SWEEP UP THE SUN, Spring 2015, features images of birds in flight, showcases beautiful aerial acrobats as they dive, soar and play tag with the wind. it received a wonderful review from the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Work from Sweep Up the Sun was featured in June 2015 at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, IN, with an exhibition and book signing.

AMONG A THOUSAND FIREFLIES was published in2016, and WAKE UP! in 2017. HELLO, I’M HERE!, featuring Sandhill cranes was published in 2019, and WAIT–AND SEE!, a peek into the world of praying mantids, in 2022.

Rick blogs about the world overhead and underfoot, a celebration of small animals living their lives, the leaves and the grass and the light, all of it reflecting the amazing life surrounding us.

He frequently exhibits his work in galleries and other venues and conducts presentations and workshops.



  • Starred review
    A great starred review from School Library Journal for The Mighty Pollinators!
    • June 2024

  • THE MIGHTY POLLINATORS is “…a wonderful summer read.”
    Youth Services Book Review
    • July 2024

    THE MIGHTY POLLINATORS, my latest book with Helen Frost is published.
    A great review from KIRKUS here.
    • March 2024

  • Welcome WAIT–AND SEE!
    My 6th book with Helen Frost is published.
    Many fine reviews, here is one from KIRKUS.
    • May 2022

  • HELLO, I’M HERE! is now in its second printing!
    • May 2020

  • A new edition of STEP GENTLY OUT from KiwiCo, which delivers hands-on STEAM projects for the next generation of scientists, artists, & makers.
    • March 2020

  • A thoughtful review of our latest book on the Wonders in the Dark blog.
    Caldecott Medal Contender: Hello, I’m Here!.
    • January 2020

  • HELLO, I’M HERE! is chosen for the Cooperative Children’s Book Center best-of-the-year list.
    • January 2020

  • HELLO, I’M HERE! is on the 2020 NCTE Poetry Notables
    • January 2020

  • The Wall Street Journal reviews HELLO, I’M HERE!
    “…jaunty rhymes and eloquent photographs”

    • April 2019

  • HELLO, I’M HERE! has a book trailer, watch it on YouTube.
    • March 2019

  • Another great review, this one from School Library Journal for HELLO, I’M HERE!
    “This author-illustrator pair have teamed up for a number of beautiful celebrations of the natural world, but this might be the most enchanting one yet.
    Striking photographs taken in the marshy world where cranes nest accompany Frost’s short poem.”
    “Perfectly matched text and images make this a grand entrance.”
    • March 2019

  • A wonderful starred review from Kirkus for HELLO, I’M HERE!
    “Parents and offspring unite in this arresting portrait of a crane family.
    In clever counterpoint to Lieder’s stunning close-ups, Frost’s wee verse protagonist starts telling its tale while still in the egg
    With yet another seamless marriage of verse and image, readers will hope Frost and Lieder’s creative union continues as long as that of their happily wed sandhill subjects.”
    • March 2019

  • Mercedes-Benz Global Perspectives exhibition
    October 2018

  • 9th Annual “AUTHORS in CHELSEA”
    March 13-14 2018

  • Wild Light Exhibit at the Toledo Government Center.
    2017 – 2018

  • Toledo Blade newspaper article features Wild Light Exhibit
    July 2017

  • Wild Light Exhibit at the National Center for Nature Photography
    • 90-plus images of the diverse beauty of Midwest animals and nature.
    June – August 2017

  • Wake Up!: Published March 2017
    • From the starred review in KIRKUS of Wake Up!:

     “Lieder again demonstrates that he is not only a master of catching light where it falls, but capturing intimate moments only the most patient of observers would notice.”

  • A tribute to summer itself: AMONG A THOUSAND FIREFLIES.
    Kirkus takes a Sneak Peek at 2016 Picture Books.

  • SWEEP UP THE SUN is a 2015 Nerdy Book Club Award winner for Best Poetry and Novels in Verse.
    Announced December 30, 2015.

  • Our first review, a starred review from KIRKUS for AMONG A THOUSAND FIREFLIES!
    “In Frost and Lieder’s third exploration of tiny creatures taken for granted in the natural world, they top themselves, lyrically centering on a firefly’s search for a mate. Frost’s spare poem weds seamlessly with Lieder’s transfixing photography…”

  • The New York Times Sunday Book Review has a fine, thoughtful review of my latest book, SWEEP UP THE SUN.
    Winged Wonders

  • My firefly filmmaking will be featured in a PBS NOVA special, “Creatures of Light”, produced by National Geographic Television.
    • Spring 2016
  • Fort Wayne Museum of Art: Exhibit & book signing
    • June 2015
  • Sweep Up the Sun, my new picture book with Helen Frost featuring the beauty of birds in flight, is published.
    The official launch included a book signing and exhibition at Book Beat.
    Here’s the website with all the news, reviews and information for the book: BugDreams.com/sweep.
    • March 2015
  • Featured speaker for
    Orion Township Public Library Battle of the Books awards ceremony.
    • March 18, 2014
  • Photography workshop:
    Canton Acts of Culture week.
    • April 29, 2014
  • I’m featured in a testimonial for Tamron Macro lenses in the March 2014 issues of Outdoor Photographer & Digital Photo magazines with a colorful praying mantis image.
  • I share 5 Tips for Shooting Macro Photography
    in this Tamron Tipcast Video
    • November 2013
  • Scientific American interview
    Alex Wild features an interview with me on Scientific American’s Compound Eye blog. I talk about my science background and my technique.
    • July 2013
  • Tamron USA Enewsletter interview
    I talk about my photographic technique & equipment.
    • March/April 2013
  • Scientific American: I’m featured in SciAm Cinema, a new monthly video series.
    • January 2013
  • ORION Magazine Back cover.
    • March/April 2012
  • Bee swarm image for KIDS: DISCOVER magazine.
    • June 2012