Member Spotlight

 Orlando Camera Club present’s Jim Peters as January’s 2020  Member Spotlight.

I was born in Montana and raised on a ranch on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana. I have lived in Montana (23 years), Nebraska, Iowa, Texas and Florida (32 years).

I became interested in photography through a 4-H photography project and later used photography in my career as a Water Utility Manager. Photographs helped me convey technical information to City Management and City Commissions who were often non-technical and too busy to visit my utility operations. Being an engineer and utility manager, I’m not very artistic so I trend towards documentation.

Somber scene during a Tunnels to Towers event

· What camera system/equipment do you use?

I use Canon cameras and L lenses and flashes. I’ve found my 5D Mark IV to be a great all-around camera. I use a carbon fiber tripod frequently (thanks, Wayne Bennett) and a monopod for sports. I also use a Pro Media Gear Boomerang for flash support for indoor events because it throws shadows below the subject.

· Do you do it professionally or just as a hobby?

This is a great retirement hobby. It gets me out of the house and involved in things I would otherwise miss. Once in a while I’m asked to shoot an event for a fee but I don’t consider myself a professional.

· What Subjects do you like to shoot and why?

I enjoy shooting events and people doing interesting things. I have gotten over any qualms about taking “people pictures” and have developed a knack for talking with people and asking for their photograph. I enjoy the interactions as much as the photography.

I’ve photographed countless events for Carol Winardi and the Community Services aspect of the OCC. This has been a very satisfying opportunity for me over the past six years because I’ve learned about so many worthwhile causes here in the Orlando area (Ronald McDonald Houses, Hearts of Gold, House of Hope, Southeastern Guide Dogs, and many others) and have met so many interesting people along the way. The images are almost secondary to the people interactions but I enjoy recalling the people and circumstances of when the photos were taken.

· List a few of your favorite learning tools (I.e. books, schools (online or live attendance), videos, and photographers you admire and follow).

The OCC provides a constant learning opportunity with its excellent speakers, contests and event photography. The OCC has been a great help with details shown under the last heading. Several books helped me a great deal. One was an early Scott Kelby book that recommended photography equipment. I followed his advice and have equipment that I’m happy with.

I spent 18 months photographing my way through a New York Institute of Photography “Professional Photography” course with a mentor from NY City. The course provided training on a wide range of photography such as fashion, portraits, landscape, macro, etc. However, it wasn’t until I discovered a book of Pulitzer Prize-Winning photos that I realized where my interest really lied – people and action. This has led to my focus on the events that the OCC Community Service supports.

Pure joy on the faces of the gamblers

· What do you see in your future in photography?

I will continue to focus on event photography. In January, I will be one of a number of photographers covering the Scottish Highland Games in Winter Springs. Also, I have plans to photograph at the Rolex 24-Hour sports car race in Daytona. This race is an excellent photo opportunity because it includes daytime and nighttime shooting, fast colorful cars that are close to spectators, and some access to the pit area with drivers and pit crews.

Contrast between the big bearded tattooed biker and a dainty strawberry ice cream cone.

· And finally, do you feel the Orlando Camera Club has helped you grow into being a better photographer. If so, how.

Absolutely!!! Each area of the OCC has been of great help.
The Speakers have been world-class providing insight into areas I would not otherwise be exposed to. I know of no other way to glean this much information from such experts. I admire and thank Wayne and Holly for consistently lining up excellent speakers.

The Judged Competitions have provided a gradual learning experience as I’ve learned from the judges what constitutes a good image. I find myself critiquing my own and other images based on what I’ve heard from the OCC judges.

The Library was of particular help to me when I first joined the club and was becoming serious about photography. For several years I always left the meetings with an armload of books. What a great asset this is to members!

Community Service has been of particular help to me because it has provided the “events” for which I’m so interested in photographing. This type of shooting sharpened my photography skills because things happen quickly during events so I must be very familiar with my equipment and aware of backgrounds, foregrounds, changing light, all while interacting with subjects. As the saying goes, photographers need models and models need photographers. Community Service of the OCC provides that match-up of people and photographers.


Previous member spotlights are available below. Member Spotlights are monthly and showcase an OCC member so we can get to know them a little better. Monthly Spotlights are also available in the OCC Monthly Newsletter.

Paula Ritchie – December 2019

Edwins Soto November 2019

Judy Hardiman – September 2018

Laura Howell – August 2018
Jennifer Wiggins – July 2018
Jim and Kathy Urbach – June 2018
Jeff Bishop – May 2018
Kathy Barger – April 2018
Gerald Wu – March 2018
Joe Drivas – February 2018
Wayne Bennett – January 2018
Ken Blye – December 2017
Holly Manus – October 2017
Gary Shaver – August 2017
Ansa Du Toit – July 2017

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