This month's Member Spotlight

JoeC self portrait
Joe Connett

I had a lighthearted interest in photography at age 18 with my first Polaroid camera. The idea of snapping a shot then seeing the results almost immediately was very cool - sort of like today’s cameras. Somewhere along the line I received a 35mm camera as a birthday gift along with an attachable flash. I used this camera at every family function and I recall becoming the official photographer of any and all events. I kept it in “Auto” mode and shot away. Needless to say this became very boring so I would venture outside of that little “A” setting just to see what would happen. Sure enough, after waiting for about a week to get those images in the mail from Clarke Labs, my photos would be over exposed/under exposed, half flash/half black, and I never understood the reasons. So back to Auto, where I was assured of a good image – well, at least a viewable one if nothing else.

I can recall many times observing light and how it affected surfaces: the shadows would get long during sunset, watching the sky turning such beautiful colors, etc. I would look through magazines with amazement and wonder how those pictures were possible.

So I guess you can say I was a newly forming student before I knew there was a subject. As the years went by I began to dread being the only one with a camera and I began to conveniently forget to bring it to the family functions, only to be scolded by the group. The family never knew the frustrations I endured when the shots were not what I was after. They would praise me and say how much they liked the images, but deep inside I knew they were horrible. It just drove me crazy.

Fast forward to 1998; I pulled that very same 35mm camera out one day and signed up at my local community college where they offered a basic course in Black & White photography along with film/print development, and that is when the light bulb went on over my head. My instructor made sure that before the semester ended I would have a thorough understanding of F-stops, shutter speeds and ISOs. He was very knowledgeable and stressed how important they are in photography.

I love this medium very much but still struggle to find my niche. I think I’m close because I have continuing thoughts about one area so we will have to see how that develops (no pun intended).

Now I shoot digital; my Nikon D-700 and I are on the prowl. I still have my film cameras and will never part with them. Sometimes I go back and use those manual devices, and they are still teaching me how to be patient and see the light.

JoeC alan JoeC along the river in bristol JoeC band of brothers

JoeC barber shop straight blades JoeC betsy ross JoeC black man JoeC brendan trio

JoeC candice JoeC chess players JoeC colleen n sarah JoeC colleen

JoeC cropped diner 1 JoeC dramatic sky JoeC flower JoeC flowing water over rock

JoeC froggy JoeC james two years JoeC james

JoeC lamb on a hill JoeC maile 3 JoeC old mill  JoeC sarah JoeC soldiers JoeC swan fountain