Cheryl Tarr, Decatur Chapter
In our newsletters, we feature short profiles of GNPA members from across the state. In this issue, it’s Cheryl Tarr, of the Decatur Chapter.
When did you join GNPA?
I joined in 2016. Photography has been a hobby since childhood, but in 2016 I wanted to hone my skills and become a better photographer. I joined GNPA because I love nature photography.
What is your occupation?
How did you get into photography?
I selected a little point-and-shoot camera as a reward for delivering newspapers when I was about 10 years old. My parents recognized my passion for photography and bought me a “real” camera in high school that took 35mm film (a Yashica Electro) and I used that in my high school photography courses. I moved up to Olympus SLRs, and then I went digital in 2006 when I bought a Nikon D70s with money I had saved for something else. I have upgraded considerably from there.
What are your favorite photography subjects?
Flowers top the list: I love their expressiveness and I love to capture their interactions with each other. Abstract impressionism makes my heart sing and beautiful light reflecting from water will stop me in my tracks. And rendering the big landscapes of the Colorado plateau in black and white is something I don’t get to do often enough!
What are your favorite places to shoot?
My favorite local spots are Arabia Mountain, Sweetwater Creek State Park and my back yard. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been a special place since I camped there with my family as a child. Any of the desert environments of the Southwest are high on my list, and I’m looking forward to traveling out there again in the near future.
What would be your photographic “dream trip”?
A three-week rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
Which camera body and lenses do you use most often?
I have a Nikon D850, and my Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens spends a lot of time on it. The Lensbaby Sweet 50 optic is another favorite. I am also very fond of my Nikon 70-200 mm lens for flower photography and intimate landscapes.
Have any photographers inspired you?
Of course Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock and Edward Weston were among the photographers who inspired me when I was in high school. David Muench was also an early inspiration for landscape photography. These days it is Kathleen Clemons for flower photography, and Guy Tal, Colleen Miniuk and Wayne Suggs for landscapes. Guy Tal in particular inspires me because of his unique style of capturing mesmerizing abstracts and intimate landscapes in an environment where most people are shooting the big wide landscapes of Utah.
What’s your favorite part of belonging to GNPA?
GNPA is a welcoming and supportive club. I’ve learned a lot from many different members!
Something interesting about you that most people do not know:
I worked at the National Zoo in graduate school and my PhD work was set in the Hawaiian Islands, where I did genetic analyses of endangered birds for conservation management. On several trips I was helicoptered in to the remote rainforest on the slopes of Haleakala Crater.
Where are you from?
Tell us a little about the photos you have provided:
Reaching For The Light: Yellow daisies on Arabia Mountain seemingly reach for a sunlit meadow. Taken with a Nikon 70-200mm telephoto lens.
Gossamer Sunflower: A white sunflower captured with an iPhone 11 Pro using “Average Camera Pro,” an app that does in-camera multiple exposures.
Tickle Me White: A cheeky fern frond tickles a trillium growing along Tremont Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Captured with a Lensbaby Velvet 56 on a Nikon D850.