Sylvia Doner

SYLVIA F. DONER
Langhorne PA

My photographic career started in 1998, a year after tripping over my own feet on a ski slope in Vermont. Skiing was my passion. The perfect day was one where I was out on the mountain, the sun shining in my face, with the headset of my walkman providing my favorite music. “Could life be any sweeter?” I would constantly ask myself. The answer was always the same: “Don’t think so!”

No longer being able to ski, roller blade or sky dive, I needed to find something to fill the void that was left by being grounded. Travel came into my life full force. And, of course, who travels without a camera in hand? Being the great photographer, my camera was always set to program, and I was ready to document everything around me. However, I did notice that most people had half heads; buildings were askew and usually roofless. I always thought wildlife had feet, yet more often than not, they seemed to be missing. Still, I thought I was doing pretty well.

After a trip to Yellowstone, an image of the Grand Prismatic Pool appeared in my developed prints. Surely, it belonged to someone else. It was actually quite decent. As a lark, I entered the image into the 1999 National Parks “Your Pictures of America” contest. Out of four thousand submissions, “Gold Stream” placed in the top 25 runners-up. Not only did the image travel throughout our national parks for the year, Canon/Lever Brothers printed my image in their yearly calendar. Wow, what a high that was!

And so, the photographic spark was ignited. After joining a camera club to learn how to move that little knob from program to some other place on the camera dial, I became part of a mentoring group that not only brought out the photographer from within, but also allowed me the opportunity to be with those who felt the same growing passion for photography. Sharing of information, teaching of techniques and field trips filled my life. In terms of creating images, what I have learned is immeasurable. The friendships and the camaraderie are priceless and irreplaceable.

Now, the perfect day is one where I am out in the field, camera in hand, friends at my side on a gloriously overcast day. “Could life be any sweeter?” I constantly ask myself. The answer is always the same “Don’t think so!”

 

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