October photographer of the month:
Andy Archer

I can’t remember when I didn’t take pictures. There were always cameras around the house to pick up and shoot--but could you afford the film and developing? As a child that was the question. 

My family even had a Leica IIIc with three lenses bought in France by my grandfather while he helped rebuild Europe after WWII.  It was a challenge to load film, but I didn’t mind, and I used it a lot for black and white photography while growing up. 

In Viet Nam, I purchased a Canon FT-QL with a 55mm f1.2 lens for $125 that never left my side.  Now I have a passion for fast glass, which I can’t afford. After a large camera-less gap in my adult life, I purchased my first DSLR, a D7000 in 2010.  I learned a lot with it but wanted full-frame to take advantage of a wide-open lens, and now I have a D750 that fits my needs well.

My photography journey did not advance much until I had an opportunity to listen to judges in competitions at the Akron Camera Club. Then I began to understand and appreciate the criticism and compliments each judge offered when critiquing an image. 

Today I still struggle to create an idea of actual composition before lifting the camera to my eye.  Mostly, I just get lucky occasionally.  One thing I have learned is to compose an image with a foreground, middle ground, and background that will give the viewer an anchor to hold attention.  As well,  you might walk around your subject to find the image with your feet-- then turn around and look behind you for an image.

My genres of interest stretch from family to travel, landscape, and theatre, and I would like to try late evening and night photography someday.  Before COVID 19, my granddaughter participated in musicals, and I would enjoy shooting the shows.  Sitting in a dark theater with ever-changing light and colors was highly challenging for me.  Lately, I have been taking Senior Portraits of my grandson and with that, I have been experimenting with off-camera flash which is great fun.  I don’t have a light stand but my daughter on a ladder works well.

I have learned a lot about shooting and about my gear from YouTube.  Many, many free videos are available that discuss every aspect of photography-- some great and some not too much. One must be selective with the presenters, but the information is right there for your edification. The biggest multiplier of the art of photography is practice. I want to create more reasons to get out and shoot.

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