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Kathy Aspy, Roswell Chapter

In our newsletters, we feature short profiles of GNPA members from across the state. In this issue, it’s Kathy Aspy, of the Roswell Chapter.

When did you join GNPA? I attended the very first meeting of GNPA and joined that night.

Which chapter do you belong to? My husband, Dale, and I are co-chairs of the Roswell Chapter.

What is your occupation? I’m a database manager for the Georgia Department of Education.

How did you get started in photography? I love arts and crafts, and photography gives me an opportunity to be creative. I also enjoy nature and hope my images encourage people to preserve and conserve our environment.

What are your favorite photography subjects? I love color. I don’t see creatively in black and white, so I am much more attracted to bright and colorful objects than interesting lines in a landscape. I like taking photos of dragonflies and damselflies. My second-most favorite subjects are water birds, followed by flowers.

What are some of your favorite places to shoot? Gibbs Gardens, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Alligator Farm, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Smokey Mountains on the annual GNPA trip, and the boardwalk on the Chattahoochee River.

What would be your photographic dream trip”? Without a doubt it would be the Galapagos Islands. 

Which camera body and lenses do you use most often? My current camera is a Canon 90D. For dragonflies and flowers, I typically use a Sigma 180 macro to achieve a good working distance. For birds, I use a Tamron 150-600 Gen 2 zoom lens.  

Do you have a favorite website(s) for photography information? I like looking at National Geographic and studying the techniques those awesome photographers use in their photography. I’m interested in the angles, the use of light, etc., that give a photo a voice.                                                         

Have any photographers inspired you? I learn best by hearing someone talk or by seeing them demonstrate a technique, so my biggest inspirations are people in GNPA and speakers we have featured. I can honestly say the many outstanding photographers in GNPA have inspired me by demonstrating what great photographs people I know can create. I enjoy impressionistic art like Monet. I love the photographic style of Charles Needle, who has spoken a couple times at GNPA meetings. Nancy Rotenberg was at the first Expo and was a big inspiration to me. Bill Lea is a great speaker and photographer, and I learned how to watch for bear behavior from him on our Smokey Mountains field trip. David Akoubian is a very thoughtful naturalist and we have tried to incorporate some of his teachings in our own backyard.

What have you gained by being a GNPA member? I have learned so much from other GNPA members on topics ranging from improving my in-camera captures to post processing. I learned how to use Live View at the first Expo and I utilize it all the time now. At a GNPA meeting, Robert Hice taught me how to set up a perfect hummingbird shot, and I use those lessons every year. The exchange of knowledge and helpful information has been fantastic. The Expos and field trips are great opportunities to learn and put those lessons to use.

Something interesting about you that most people don’t know: At age 16, I was a member of the original volunteer group that helped to build the Chattahoochee Nature Center, after my high school biology teacher asked for volunteers. Also, I am very fortunate that nature photography is a family activity, with my husband and daughter joining me on photography shoots.

Where are you from? I was raised in Dunwoody and remember I-285 and Georgia 400 being built. Perimeter Mall was a farm with cows then. I can remember when the bridge over the Chattahoochee was one-way and you had to keep your tires on the wooden tracks.

Tell us a little about the photos you have provided: 

“Dragonfly”

This was taken in our yard. Photographers are taught that the eye follows a leading line. I like the way the viewer is drawn along the stem of the canna to the vibrant colors in the wing of the dragonfly. The angle of the wings reminds me of a colorful whirligig.

“Frog Princess Parasol”

I captured this at Gibb’s Gardens on a hot summer day. The frog found a perfect pink parasol to enjoy some shade.

“Butterfly”

This image comes from the Chattahoochee Nature Center during their annual butterfly festival. I was drawn to the bright, contrasting colors.

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