September 2019

Tim Butler
By Janet Frost

For the month of September, the Saddlebrooke Photography Club is honored to highlight Tim Butler as our Photographer of the Month. Tim has been involved in the Saddlebrooke Photography Club for over two years. In those two years he has been instrumental in teaching and mentoring many club members. Currently, he is facilitating the Lightroom Special Interest Group. He will be teaching in the upcoming “Introduction to Photography”  course that the Club is offering to the public. See the Saddlebrooke Photography Club website for more information on this popular class.

Tim is very humble and denies any serious artistic talent. However, his fellow Club members know differently. He started back in 1971 with a Pentax Spotmatic camera. His goal for photography then and now has always been to capture images from his extensive backpacking, climbing and hiking trips. In the 1990’s he and his wife took up SCUBA diving and added underwater photography to his talents. 

Many Saddlebrooke residents  know Tim from his wonderful botanical hikes through the Hiking Club. He is considered a resident expert on wildflower identification. This past spring, with the amazing wildflower blooms, Tim was in his glory. Photography has become a means for Tim to document his wildflower and hiking hobbies. He also continues to record wonderful travel experiences from around the world.

Tim says “Over the years I have learned a lot from expert photographers about how to compose my shots for more interesting images.” He credits many of his fellow Saddlebrooke Photography Club members for helping him in his ongoing journey of photography. 

Why not join the Saddlebrooke Photography Club and see how we can assist you in learning photography. Drop into our Open Studio times on Wednesday and Friday mornings 9am-11am in the Agate Room of HOA2. 

 

August 2019

Dwight Small

Written by Janet Frost and Dwight Small

 

 

The Saddlebrooke Photography Club is honored to present Dwight Small as our Photographer of the Month for August. Dwight shares his story with us below. we think you will find him as funny, fascinating and talented as we do. 

 

“As a youngster my passion was aviation with a huge curiosity about photography. In the pre television WWII days my window to the world was Life Magazine and an occasional National Geographic. I would page thru these picture magazines for hours.  In high school I bagged groceries and stocked shelves for 30- 36 hours a week and learned to fly but there was little money left for photography. A mentor occasionally allowed me to use his camera and darkroom to develop and enlarge pictures. Mercifully, none of these pictures remain.  After a stint in the navy and a few semesters in college I was hired as a pilot for Flying Tigers (later FedEx) and was then able to dip my toe into photography. 

 

Aviation and photography combine nicely in some ways but not so much in others. Airplanes in flight don’t pose and aviation is dynamic by nature so aviation photography can be frustrating.  It’s a bit like wildlife photography in that respect I suppose. The obvious advantage is travelling to wonderfully photogenic, faraway places such as Hong Kong, Fiji, and Pago Pago. Flying in the mid ‘60s in propeller airplanes involved much lower altitudes than the soon-to-come jet age airplanes. Fortunately, airborne photography during this era produced  some good results. 

I retired from airline flying in ’98 and then became more involved in photography. Whether in a car or an airplane I always have a camera with me. Early mornings you might see my Cub flying low over the poppy fields around Picacho Peak or skimming over the desert photographing  the shadowed terrain. Most of my photography involves aviation with an occasional foray into portraits, wildlife and landscapes. My main interest is air-to-air pictures. I’m sometimes asked to take inflight photos of airplanes. Presently I am awaiting cooler weather to do air-to-air shots of a friend in his homebuilt airplane and another friend in his 1940’s Stearman biplane. This is not a commercial venture but I do it in the everlasting pursuit of the perfect shot. 

Recently I was courageous enough or foolish enough to agree to photograph a wedding, my first and last BTW.  Nearing the wedding day I became increasingly anxious but two practice sessions in the church using my wife and the groom as models gave me the confidence to go ahead with it.  Luckily the bride and groom are very happy with the pictures so I don’t have to leave town or go into hiding.”

 

 

July 2019

Tom Frost

written by Janet Frost

 

Tom Frost might be new to Saddlebrooke and the Saddlebrooke Photography Club. However, he is not new to many of the skills vital for photography. As a dentist, Tom spent years recognizing the nuances of color, light and texture. 

Tom’s artistic talents were not limited to the small scale of dentistry, he started his photography journey in the vast frontier of the deep seas. As a scuba diver, Tom took on the challenge of capturing images of the vibrant and dramatic underwater marine life. These critters can be microscopic or massive, benign or threatening, but they are all constantly moving, making photography especially tricky. Tom declares that his early years produced great “fish butt pictures” as everything swam away from his camera. 

Eventually he mastered the technique of controlling his floating and breathing as well as anticipating the movement of his subjects. The walls of his office displayed extraordinary images of sea turtles, dolphins, eels, sharks and vast schools of colorful fish. Landlocked family and friends loved the opportunity to view this unique and amazing wildlife up close in Tom’s pictures. 

Today Tom has moved to the desert and finds himself as captivated by this new landscape as he was by the underwater world. He is shooting with the new technology of a mirrorless camera. These are lighter weight cameras that pack plenty of cutting edge technology into their small size. Tom certainly plans to continue discovering new and beautiful underwater images he is busy enjoying the dark skies, mountain vistas and unusual desert critters for right now. 

In July, Tom shared his underwater images and photographic techniques in a presentation to the Saddlebrooke Photography Club. The Club is honored to introduce Tom Frost as the Photographer of the Month. The unique skills and images that Tom brings to the club demonstrate the wonderful diversity represented in the Saddlebrooke Photography Club.

June 2019

Jeanette Brinker

written by Janet Frost and Jeanette Brinker

 

 We asked Jeanette to be our Photographer of the Month for June because of her committed and methodical approach to improving her bird photography. She shares her passion with us: 

I have been taking pictures off and on all my life but became interested in bird photography when we lived in the San Francisco Bay area.  Our neighborhood had both palm trees and sycamores that were home to Orioles.  When I put out our hummingbird feeder, I noticed that the Orioles would hang out and try to drink from them.  I soon got a couple Oriole feeders and over the years their population grew as they imprinted on our backyard.  They arrived in March and left in August after fledging two sets of young.  They were fun to watch but when we planned to move to SaddleBrooke, I thought it would be nice to photograph them.  Since they are very timid birds, my husband built a bird blind, and I borrowed a Canon Zoom camera from work for a few weeks.  We probably had 20 Orioles in our backyard at any one time.  Photographing them got me started on more serious bird photography.

Since then, I have purchased my own Canon camera with a 400 zoom lens, as well as two off camera flashes.  I also spray painted a canvas background to use as a backdrop.  The folks in the Photography Club helped me decide what equipment was instrumental for bird photography.

After moving to SaddleBrooke, my interest has turned to photographing hummingbirds and other colorful birds such as the Elegant Trogons.  They each have their unique challenges.  We planted hummingbird flowering bushes in our backyard and I use the backdrop and flashes to capture the male’s iridescent color while trying to eliminate the view of the brick back wall.  It takes patience to photograph them in the bushes rather than against the feeders.  And another challenge is that they move so fast!  After purchasing a small place in Pinetop to escape the summer heat, we now go to the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area for their annual High Country Hummingbird Festival during the fall migration at the end of July.  We have photographed Broadtails, Rufous, Calliope, and Annas during this time.

Photographing the Elegant Trogons has also turned into a passion. The northern range of this species is the sky islands of southern Arizona.  I saw and photographed my first Trogon at Patagonia Lake State Park about 3 years ago.  Since then, my husband and I have visited Cave Creek, Huachuca Canyon, Garden Canyon, and Madera Canyon in search of the Trogons.  Sometimes it takes several visits to get the right lighting or photograph them without a tangle of branches.  I have been fortunate this year for the first time to see and photograph young Trogons at Madera Canyon.

The SaddleBrook Photography Club has had several birding fieldtrips, including Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico to photograph Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese, Sweetwater Wetlands and Gilbert Water Ranch.  All are excellent locations for bird photography. 

We are fortunate to live in Arizona where wildlife is so abundant.  My goal is to continue photographing wildlife locally.  A recent day trip to the lakes within the White Mountains allowed my husband and I to enjoy seeing Bald Eagles, Mountain Bluebirds, Great Blue Herons, Pronghorn Antelope, Elk, and Bighorn Sheep.  There is never a lack of photographic opportunities!

 

May 2019

Joe Tomasello

written by Janet Frost

Joe Tomasello has been taking photos and telling visual stories since he was 12 years old with a Kodak Instamatic. In high school he was the yearbook photographer and built his own dark room. By college he was entering contests and winning awards. Over the years Joe photographed friends, family and special events. Joe worked in commercial banking for 37 years in the Chicago area. After early retirement, he moved to Arizona and joined the Saddlebrooke Photography Club 18 months ago. 

Joe’s life as a photographer was transformed when he converted to digital photography. He says:  

“The option to take an infinite number of photos [like 3,000 on our trip to Italy]

and see immediate results was astounding!”

 Currently Joe is shooting with a DSLR Nikon D810. He has discovered his passion. Photographing wildlife! Joe and his wife have visited numerous National Parks and are hooked on the natural beauty and uniqueness of each region. The combination of digital photography and his experiences in the National Parks motivated Joe to participate in professionally guided photo workshops and trips. 

Joe shares these thrilling adventures with his long-time college friend. Together they have explored Yellowstone Lamar Valley in the frigid winter, humpback and killer whales in Monterey, CA and the annual sandhill crane migration in Kearney Nebraska. Oftentimes, he is traveling and shooting alongside professional wildlife photographers.

This month Joe  presented to the Club, his most recent trip, to Haines, Alaska. This March, Joe won a Second Place and Honorable Mention for his Eagles in Alaska in the Arizona Camera Club Council Spring Round-up. He joined professional photographer, Matt Shetzer, on his  Bald Eagle Photography Workshop. Here is how Joe described this amazing experience:

“My overall impression was that Alaska is truly the ‘last frontier’…The eagles that migrate to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve must be protected from interference in their annual migration at all costs. It is essential to preserve their existence for future generations to witness these magnificent creatures. The eagles were exciting to observe and photograph and allowed me to broaden my knowledge of this rare population of raptors.” 

Future trips for Joe include the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to capture images of condors. This year he will return to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons and next year he is headed to Vero Beach, Florida for action shots of osprey. Joe believes that traveling to these amazing locations with a professional photographer tour guide has enhanced and improved the quality of his photography. The Saddlebrooke Photography Club is honored to present the talented, Joe Tomasello, as our May Photographer of the Month. 

April 2019

Andrea Gray

written by Janet Frost

Andrea started photographing almost 40 years ago after taking a  community college course on photography. But it wasn’t until she moved to Saddlebrooke 18 years ago that she became completely involved in photography.  This was when she also started to travel the world. Andrea says that she has  an “eye” for photography and often looks at a scene with or without her camera to find an interesting image. 

Her travels and eye  for an interesting image are a great match up. She loves taking pictures on her travels and making photoshows to show friends, family and fellow travelers. Andrea is the official photographer for the MPWGA (MountainView Preserve 18 holers) and makes photoshows for all their special tournaments. She has also done photoshows for weddings and family reunions.

Andrea’s travels have taken her to Australia/New Zealand, Peru, Spain and Portugal, Vietnam, Africa, Patagonia South America, Costa Rica, Russia, the Balkans, the Netherlands, Greece and Japan. Most of her land travels have been with Odysseys Unlimited tours. The most recent trip in September was a two week tour in Japan. She describes Japan as an extremely clean, organized and polite country. Tokyo is New York City on steroids. Her favorite story that depicts Japan perfectly was when her husband decided to cross the street against the light when there were no cars in his path. Suddenly a police car flashed its lights and an officer spoke harshly in Japanese to my husband. After a few moments, the police car drove away as the officer, in English, shouted to my husband, “That is not the Japanese way!”