Meet A Member

Meet A Member

Art Stiles, Griffin Chapter

In our newsletters, we feature short profiles of GNPA members from across the state. In this issue, it’s Art Stiles, of the Griffin Chapter.

How long have you been a GNPA member?

Ten years.

What is your current occupation (or if retired, your former one)?

28 years in the Regular Army Combat Arms, 17 years teaching third- and fifth-grade students.

How and when did you get into photography? I really got into photography when my daughters were little (early 1980s); however, I never really knew what I was doing. That didn’t happen until around 2006 when my wife bought a Nikon D40 DSLR. (I could afford to experiment then!)

What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

 I love wildlife, flowers, and macro. I love landscapes too, but I’m not very good at that.

Name one of your favorite places to shoot.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

What would be your photographic “dream trip”?

My dream trip would be a “no time limit” trip where I would fly to Patagonia and take perhaps a full year to travel from there up the Andes spine, with side trips to local areas of interest, all the way to the mouth of the Amazon.

Which camera body and lenses do you use most often?

I currently use a Nikon D850, with the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f-2.8 II ED and the Nikon AF-S Micro 105mm f-2.8 G ED lenses.

What are your go-to websites for photography information?

For inspiration, Outdoor Photographer https://www.outdoorphotographer.com/tips-techniques/ for Nikon Cameras Fstoppers https://fstoppers.com/originals/seventeen-new-tricks-nikon-d850-and-how-theyll-help-your-photography-193751) and for photography skills & techniques Digital Camera World https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/tutorials/147-photography-techniques-tips-and-tricks-for-taking-pictures-of-anything

Can you name any photographers who have inspired you? Jim Henderson was the first, as well as my first photography teacher. Since then, there have been many, like Horace Hamilton of GNPA.

What is your favorite part of belonging to GNPA? The best part of belonging to GNPA is the willingness of every member I’ve met to freely share techniques, expertise and locations.

Something interesting about you that most people do not know:

Before going into the Army, I worked on a cattle ranch in Colorado and rode bulls in the rodeo circuits.

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in northern Louisiana and grew up in Texas and Louisiana.

Tell us a little about the photos you’ve provided:

My wife took this shot of me as I was showing the horse the photo I had taken of him.

I had intended to shoot the John Moulton barn this morning; however, as I was getting my gear out of my truck in the dark, two busloads of tourists pulled up and swarmed the place. I left and went down to the T.A. Moulton barn and waited for the sunrise. I am grateful to those tourists. If not for them, I would have never gotten this shot.

I had been to Yellowstone many times, but never in the winter. In February 2020, my wife and I went there with Chris Dekle. This red fox, more than any other animal, captured my heart with his relentless effort to find food and survive.

 

 

 

Meet A Member

Meet A Member

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?

Biologist.

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?

Bloomington, Indiana

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.

 

 

Meet A Member

Meet A Member

Don Saunders, Smyrna Chapter

In our newsletters, we feature short profiles of GNPA members from across the state. This month, it’s Don Saunders, a founding member of the Smyrna Chapter.

When did you join GNPA?

I joined the formation meetings that led to the creation of GNPA. I had several different roles in GNPA. The most demanding role was Program Chair, where I scheduled all speakers and meetings for over two years. At this time, GNPA had only a single meeting and individual chapters had not been formed yet.

What is your occupation?

I am retired now. My occupation was medical sales and most of that was diagnostic ultrasound systems (contrast resolution and detail resolution).

How did you get into photography?

I received a Kodak Brownie as a Christmas gift. Later I “upgraded” to a Kodak Instamatic, placed it in an underwater housing, and took underwater photos of fish with it.

What are your favorite photography subjects?

I love to photograph wildlife, landscapes and macro subjects.

 What are your favorite places to shoot?

The North Georgia mountains and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are my favorite places for landscapes and mammals. There are several locations in central Florida that are great for photographing birds. 

What would be your photographic “dream trip?” 

Banff, Yoho, Jasper, and Kootenay national parks in the Canadian Rockies. Those would be followed by Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons, Zion and Bryce national parks, the Wave, Antelope Canyon, Bandon, OR, Cannon Beach and the national parks at Grand Canyon (North & South Rims), Canyonlands, Death Valley, Yosemite, Redwoods, Crater Lake, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier and Olympic. Also Denali NP and Lake Clarke NP for brown bears.

Which camera body and lenses do you use most often?

Canon R5 with 16-35, 24-105, 180 macro and100-400 lenses. If traveling by air and there are weight and size restrictions, I’ll use the Olympus E-M1X & E-M1.3 with 7-14, 12-100, 40-150, and 300 lenses.

What are your go-to websites for photography information?                                                                                               

Recently, I have been watching YouTube videos by certain photographers, like Mark Denney, Erin Babnik, Marc Muench, Kathleen Clemons, Sean Bagshaw, Joshua Cripps, Matt Kloskowski and Tim Grey.

Have any photographers inspired you?

John Shaw was my primary inspiration since he excelled at photographing landscapes, wildlife and macro and wrote several outstanding instructional books covering these subjects. Others are Ansel Adams, George Lepp, Bill Fortney, Art Wolfe, John Netherton and Rick Sammon.

What’s your favorite part of belonging to GNPA?

Shooting with fellow GNPA members at beautiful locations and learning from the other members.

Something interesting about you that most people do not know:

I am passionate about scuba diving. As a young boy in central Ohio, I watched the “Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” and was hooked. I became a certified diver at age 17 and dove for nearly 20 years. In 2015, I jumped back into diving by beginning my training from the basics. In a year and a half, I had earned my Master Scuba Diver certification. Last year was a dry (no diving) year, but I am hopeful that I will get wet in 2021.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Granville, Ohio.

Tell us a little about the photos you have provided:

Aurora Borealis in Iceland. My first and only time seeing the Northern Lights. We were on a trip with Iceland Photo Tours and arrived at Kirkjufell in the afternoon. After dinner, we went outside and saw the lights. We hurried to the mountain overlook and photographed it continuously for two hours. The lights constantly moved and changed colors.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers. While photographing birds at the Venice Audubon Rookery, I noticed two photographers by this dead tree. I joined them photographing this mated pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers as they explored a nesting cavity. Of all my images, this one had the most compelling composition, color, head angles and catch lights in the eyes.

Black bear cub in tree. I joined Chas Glatzer for one of his workshops in Minnesota. This cub’s mother had just sensed another bear approaching and made a warning sound to her cub, sending it scurrying up a tree. I walked up on a boardwalk, which put me at eye level with the cub, and photographed it. It was cold and wet that day, and the look on the cub’s face with its wet fur made a connection with me.

Meet A Member

Meet A Member

Robbie Medler, Coastal Chapter

In our newsletters, we feature short profiles of GNPA members from across the state. This month, it’s Robbie Medler from the Coastal Chapter.

When did you join GNPA?

January 2017

What’s your occupation?  

I’m a retired teacher.

How did you get into photography?

After our sons went off to school, taking their toys with them, I started watching the birds in my backyard and began taking photos of them, and went from there. I still love taking backyard photos of all things nature-related.

What are your favorite photography subjects?

Birds, insects, flowers, landscapes – anything to do with nature. And now a grandson, too!

What are your favorite places to shoot?

Anywhere outdoors, but I love wildlife refuges and parks, and of course my backyard.

What would be your photographic “dream trip?”

So many to dream about. Maybe Alaska and photographing bears.

Which camera and lenses do you use most often?

I have a Canon body and I use the 400mm and 100mm Macro lenses, along with a couple of wide-angle lenses.

What are your go-to websites for photography information?

I honestly don’t have a go-to website. I Google a lot!

What’s your favorite part of belonging to GNPA?

The members. Everyone has been so kind and forthcoming with their knowledge. I have learned so much, and I’ve been so inspired by the members, photographers and others.

Where are you from?

My dad was in the Air Force, so we lived many places, finally settling here in Georgia.

Ibises Morning Bath. Photo by Robbie Medler.

Life in the Flowers. Photo by Robbie Medler.

Oatland. Photo by Robbie Medler.

 

Meet A Member

Meet A Member

Sophie DeBacker, Roswell Chapter

In our newsletters, we feature short profiles of GNPA members from across the state. This month, it’s Sophie DeBacker from the Roswell Chapter.

When did you join GNPA?

Some years ago, haha! I don’t remember exactly, around 5-6 years ago, I think.

What’s your occupation? 

I am a Jewelry Artist.

How did you get into photography?

My dad put a camera in my hands when I was 13 because I was bored. I took pictures on and off for a long time, but only became really passionate after moving here in 2009 and seeing all the new and wonderful birds that were around.

What are your favorite photography subjects?

Birds for sure! But I also like anything else nature-related – flowers and macro photography, and other animals.

What are your favorite places to shoot?

My backyard, but also anywhere I can observe and learn more about wildlife.

What would be your photographic “dream trip?”

Australia and South America. They have such beautiful and colorful birds!

Which camera and lenses do you use most often?

Canon 5DIII with a 300L F2.8

What are your go-to websites for photography information?

I don’t really visit photography websites unless I have a specific question I need answered.

Have any photographers inspired you?

Not specifically. It is more about the emotion, mood, color and composition of a photograph. I do like Marina Cano; she is a wonderful wildlife photographer.

What’s your favorite part of belonging to GNPA?

Being able to share my passion with other people with the same interest. GNPA has some wonderful members and talented photographers!

Something about you most people don’t know:

I love dancing, and I won the European Championship of Line Dance in 2005.

Where are you from?

Belgium, Europe

 

‘I didn’t do it!’ Male Northern Flicker snacking in dogwood tree. Photo by Sophie DeBacker.

‘Fly-Through’ American Robin taking off with a berry. Photo by Sophie DeBacker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Farniente’ Baby Barred Owl relaxing in the afternoon sun. Photo by Sophie DeBacker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet a Member

Meet a Member

Don L Williams, Hamilton Chapter

 

In every newsletter, we feature a short profile of a GNPA member. This month, it’s Don L Williams from the Hamilton Chapter.

When did you join GNPA?

I first joined in 2015.

What’s your occupation?  

I retired from TSYS, Inc. in Columbus several years ago as Associate Technical Director. For most of my career, I designed software, both technical and business.

How did you get into photography?

I purchased a used Voightlander rangefinder camera when I was 18 and played with it for a while. But it wasn’t until I went overseas with the military a couple of years later that I really started to get serious about it.

What are your favorite photography subjects?

I will photograph about anything, but as my wife and I are both avid “birders,” I shoot a lot of bird photos. I also very much enjoy close-up photography.

What are your favorite places to shoot?

It’s hard to pick just one favorite place. We like to travel and camp, so wherever we are at the time is where I will shoot.

What would be your photographic “dream trip?”

There are lots of places! But Iceland has to be near the top of the list.

Which camera and lenses do you use most often?

I currently shoot with a Nikon Z6 and Nikon D500. If we are birding I will have a Sigma 150-600mm on the D500 and a Nikon 24-70mm on the Z6. Otherwise I will have a Nikon 28-300mm on the D500, with a Sigma 105mm macro if I decide to do some close-up photos (although the 28-300mm does a pretty good job with closeups for the most part).

What are your go-to websites for photography information?

I usually go to YouTube for photography information. There are three or four folks there that I follow fairly regularly.

Have any photographers inspired you?

I was inspired by Ansel Adams early on. Today there are so many great nature photographers that it would be impossible to pick specific ones. I am constantly inspired by other photographers, including several of our own GNPA members.

What’s your favorite part of belonging to GNPA?

I think the favorite part for me has been the annual trips to the Smoky Mountains and the Circle B trip. It was my first GNPA Smoky Mountain trip as a relatively new member in 2015 that convinced me to continue my association with GNPA.

Something about you most people don’t know:

In addition to photography, I sometimes paint in watercolor or draw with pen and ink.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Alabama.

 

Snow Geese in Flight by Don L. Williams

Morning Frost by Don L. Williams

 

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