December photographer of the month:
I guess photography was forever there. My dad was always taking family pictures and would develop them in our bathroom. He had an old Exacta which I used for a short time. I liked it because it had a left-handed shutter release.
I got involved in photography in 1973 when I got my first good job at B.F. Goodrich. I needed something to do when I was not working and decided to make photography my hobby. The first club I joined was the BFG Camera Club. Right off the bat I got involved in shooting color slides and soon became an officer in the club. What I liked about this club was the competition; there were topics assigned for picture taking. These topics made me really look for themed pictures. The club also competed in the Northeast Ohio Camera Club Council. Each participating club in that council had to host a competition which was a great way to see what other people were doing and such a good learning experience. BFG was also a member of the Photography Society of America in which members of our club could take advantage of the Society's individual classes. They are still around. At that time, I also joined the Metro Parks Camera Club. That is where my interest in nature photography started, and I still love to shoot it.
It was not too far into the 1980’s that most clubs were falling by the wayside including the B.F. Goodrich Camera Club which was waning. So, I had to look for another club. The one good thing which happened for me during that transition time was that our club had a semi-annual competition with the Akron Camera Club. So,my new club to join became the Akron Camera Club. That is when I started to print B&W. I loved seeing images come up in that format. It was magic.
Competitions in the Akron Camera Club were tough at first especially using the light box and competing with the likes of Elsie and Perc Zeigler, Sam Sesic, Tom Jones, Chris Morrow and even Eilert Ofstead. I did finally figure it out and was scoring the high 15s and 16s. At that time the club would use the whole main level of the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center filling it with people who were participating or watching the competition. I left the Club when my children needed more of my time. I did try to come back, but the club had changed; maybe it was the digital aspect. However, I felt my B&W's were not true B&W when shown during competitions in the box; they had a bluish or reddish cast.
It took me a long time to get a digital camera. The one thing I was proud of is seeing the image in the view finder. I currently shoot with a Canon 80D. I only have two lenses--both Tamron. One is a 90mm macro f2.8, and the other is 16mm to 300mm 3.5/6.3 zoom; I got tired of carrying all the extra medium format equipment. I use Adobe Elements 2020 with DOX Nik filters for post processing and just added DOX Photolab-4 which is similar to Lightroom. That program has some advantages and disadvantages.
All I want to do now is help people that want to learn. I think I can help someone to love photography like I do.