“Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.” Paul Strand
I never owned a camera as a child or an adolescent but I do remember the enjoyment of the sights and sounds of the wind blowing through the tall grass on hot summer days while the line from my fishing pole was being tugged by the latest fish feeding off the bottom of the creek. Then looking up to the sky at the next bird flying by or seeing a horse galloping through a field afar. I remember climbing tall elm trees, building snow forts in the winter. I remember riding a pony named “buttons” through the woods of southern Ohio after throwing hay bales on a flatbed truck most of the day. I remember the beauty of wood grain in the slats of covered bridges and tattered old barns. Only capturing these images in my mind.
In 1976 I bought a Canon EF film camera from a pawn shop and decided I would try to document as many future memories as I could from then on. In 1983 I bought the "new" Canon Sure Shot point and shoot camera and that was my camera until 1988 when I started shooting Minolta cameras until 2001. In 2001 I bought a Canon Elan II 7E film camera. I then tried a Pentax and a Panasonic camera.
By 2005 I had finally gone back to Canon for the last time and will not look back again. My current cameras are a Canon 60D 18 MP which I use for landscapes and still shots and a Canon 7D Mark II 20 MP for shooting wildlife and action shots both with good glass and a good quality tripod. I have another camera on my wish list at B & H Photo...the new Canon 5D Mark lV a full-frame camera.
My therapy from the normal stresses of life is fly fishing in the most remote place I can go enjoying the fresh air and the sights and sounds of the woods and the animals that inhabit them. When I am not too distracted by the fishing I take as many pictures as I can. I enjoy shooting black and white as well. I believe black and white photos have as much character as color, if not more, in many cases.
“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.” Henri Cartier-Bresson
In 1949 I was a young boy of four when my mother showed me how to draw a cat with a small and large circle and a few curly lines and that was first art lesson. That lesson sparked a need to express myself. I was frequently doodling or sketching something from time to time throughout my childhood.
By the time I reached my sophomore year in High School, talking art classes every year I could in the interim, I was charged with painting the verses to “ ’twas the night before Christmas” on large poster boards in Old English lettering for display at school during the Christmas Season. My art teacher, at the time, was an accomplished pen and ink artist. After a few classes with him, he suggest I might try pen and ink drawing and with his help I was able find my niche. I had tried oil painting, charcoal and other mediums but ink seemed to suit me better than others. I cannot thank Mr. LePoris enough for the joy I have had with this experiment.
I prefer drawing old buildings, covered bridges, fence posts, corrals and the like. I tried to draw animals for years using other artists work to help hone my skills and develop my own technique but just could never achieve what I considered exceptional work, although I can draw a pretty good German brown trout. I quit drawing animals in the mid 1970’s and went back to the more comfortable subject matter which I still do on occation today. Sometimes life gets in the way of our passions and I had not been drawing for several years except for the artwork on this web site and my Trout Flies by Phil web site which contain some of my work.
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