John’s first camera was a Christmas present in 1959; he was 12 years old and was instantly in love with photography. For the previous two years, he had wanted a camera and a home darkroom and had drawn out plans for converting the family’s single bathroom into a wet darkroom. That idea— from Popular Science— did not get off the ground. Popular Science usually had a couple of articles about photography and he envisioned that one day he could take beautiful pictures of architecture, wide lush landscapes and stunning wildlife photos. His first serious camera came upon graduation from college: A Canon 35mm black F-1 with a standard 50mm lens and a 70-300mm lens. It was designated “semi-automatic” since an in-viewfinder light meter suggested shutter speeds or apertures for the photographer to set manually. When assigned to be advisor for the high school yearbook staff along with his English teaching duties, he took pictures on campus, at football and basketball games, and shot along side the professional photographers supplied by the senior portrait studio. At the time, yearbook pictures were shot with manual twin-lens reflex film cameras, so John learned to use his first larger format camera, manually setting both shutter speed and aperture and mentally counting off the distance to calculate the settings for the powerful Honeywell manual flash. Thousands of images later, he became one of his hometown’s two wedding photographers and added portraits, proms, and sports photography to his portfolio, but he still chased after the wilder, more natural side. After retirement from teaching, John fulfilled these wishes and began to take wildlife pictures, landscapes and cityscapes in earnest. John has taught basic and advanced photography and basic darkroom for the local community college, in addition to outfitting two darkrooms and two photography studios. He is a member of the Orlando Camera Club, and a past member of the National Scholastic Press Association and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. One of John’s favorite quotes is from famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams: “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”
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