My interest in photography began back in the 1970s, when I bugged my dad to let me use his old Vivitar 35mm film camera. I used my lawn mowing money for film, and shot pictures of school activities and the local Vermont scenery.
When I enrolled at the University of Vermont, I met a fellow from Cleveland who was an avid photographer. He had also worked summers at Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, and had great pictures and stories to share. Soon, we would become great friends, and I would embark on a nearly 40 year career in Vermont and South Dakota state parks.
But, before I found permanent employment with a park agency, I took a brief detour and worked as a city patrolman, along with a part-time gig in a local camera store. With my darkroom and shooting experience, I soon found myself developing and printing accident and crime scene photos, and even mug shots – quite a difference from my past experience!
Photography was a tool I found to be very useful and therapeutic throughout my career. Over the years, I produced slide shows and presentations, and shot images of South Dakota’s diverse flora and fauna, as well as special projects and events. My images have also been used for many interpretive displays and exhibits, and have been published in a variety of newspapers, magazines, brochures, calendars, websites and even on a music CD!
I was a long-time member of the Sioux Falls Camera Club, where I was editor of The Sioux Projector. Over the years, many of my images won awards in local and regional competitions. I have also served as a judge for a number of local photo contests.
Most recently, my images are being used in several educational efforts. I routinely present photographic workshops in area libraries and for different organizations, where my goal is to teach folks, young and old alike, how to take better outdoor and nature images.
Since my retirement from state parks, I have joined the team of associates at Harold’s Photo on 41st Street, and, among my many duties, I have the pleasure of teaching many of the “One-on-One” sessions.
My primary interest has always been in the areas of nature and landscape photography. I especially enjoy taking new and creative approaches to images at places people have photographed for years. Having spent my career in state parks, I was never lacking for great places for outdoor photography. But over the years, my wife Cathy and I have also travelled to more than 130 of our national parks and monuments, and covered 49 states in the process. Yet it seems we’ve barely seen what this great country has to offer for photographers!
So, stop in and say HI! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or ask to try out a new camera or lens. Sign up for one of our classes if you want to take your photography to the next level. That’s why we’re here!
By Guest Blogger Marty DeWitt