Beanery Online Literary Magazine

October 9, 2008




Photodoctor’s Bio

Bio: Photodoctor
Home: Wherever I hang my hat!
Born: 12/07/1955

     I have always been able to see as well or better than others. This is a strange remark, from someone who sees the world through coke-bottled glasses, but for some reason, God gave me the ability to see.
     I originally thought He gave me the ability to see when I excelled as a preschool marksman. I could see well enough to snap a swinging cord at 25 yards, with a 22 rifle. This ability followed me though my teen years as I dropped many a deer or clover leafed a target at hundreds of yards. But that isn’t why God made me see.
     I thought He gave me the ability to see when I excelled at sports. During my school years I was always able to hit a baseball, and then a softball in my thirties, at a very high batting average. I have always been able to dribble and shoot a basketball. But this wasn’t why God made me see.
     I thought He gave me the ability to see when, as a salesman, I was always able to look into the customer’s eyes and tell when it was the right time to close a sale. But that was not why God made me see.
     I thought He gave me the ability to see when, in my adult life, I had the ability to pull the curtain back between the living world and the past one, seeing those who linger. I had a pet cat who still comes and visits from time to time—others can’t see him, but my dog and I can. This is a gift, an interesting one, but that is not why God made me see.
     For many a year ……(grin) I thought God gave me the gift to see the twinkle in the ladies’ eyes to know if they were interested in me or not. Well I think this gift still works from time to time, but that wasn’t why God made me see.
     I first picked up a camera in scouts, then again in high school as an elective, and then again in college as a credit-filler course, but only thought of it as fun. In the early 1980’s at the near end of my marriage, I developed an almost career-ending back problem. Rehabilitation and my two wonderful children kept me very busy, but I eventually wanted to get back to work. I walked into a mom and pop camera store and asked them for a job, and the rest is history. That day I picked up a camera and fell in love with the photographic medium. Guess that statement said a lot for my marriage at the time…well, anyway, after twenty-some years of my life, God finally showed me why He gave me the ability to see.
     Photography has gotten me through some of the hardest times, in my life. I’ve always been able to pick up the camera, go do something difficult with it, and loose myself in it, forgetting everything else. I return with some very remarkable results, so I know this is why God gave the ability to see.
     It’s been about twenty-five years now since I bought my first Pentax K-1000SE, and I still shoot with Pentax: 35mm, 120mm, and Digitals. I’ve spent many hours, days, weeks, months and I guess years reading the brilliant words and viewing the wonderful photos of Ansel Adams, Minor White, Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, W.Eugene Smith, Robert Capa. Paul Strand, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Henri-Cartier Bresson, John Hedgecoe, Gallen Rowell, John Shaw, George Lepp, Anne Leibovotz and many other photographers.
     God also gave me the ability to solve complex mathematical equations in my head, on the fly. This very unused talent laid dormant since high school, but exploded when I had to figure out exposure value equations. Like Ansel Adams and others, I’ve been able to visualize a scene without a camera, knowing what will make up a great shot before the camera reaches my eye. I have long said I have no artistic talent, just “God Given Ability.” I know I annoy my friends when we are out shooting, because I look at what they are shooting and then say, “Well what about this other view?”
     I guess you can say I am a very lucky man. I give the credit to the most important people in my life: My God, My Mom and My Dad. I thank God every day for what talents I’ve been given, and I go out of my way to help others with their photographic projects. My Mom passed along her love of politics, sports, food, shiny cars, shopping and her love of family. My Dad passed along his love of music, the arts, the wilderness, hunting & fishing, his work ethic and his love of the Roman Catholic religion. Even though they both are gone I thank them every time I can, knowing I would have been nowhere without them.
     On a more personal note, I am a riddle-wrapped mystery inside an enigma. I’m as Cryptic as I am Easy To Read! I am as Caring as I am Difficult! I am as Distant & Reclusive as I am Outgoing! I am as much at home navigating through Pittsburgh as I am walking through the highlands of West Virginia. My faith guides me but I believe in the “bond with close friends” rather than the bond with a church full of people. I have built my life and thoughts around four prime words: Faith, Hope, Trust and Love. Think about it: you can’t have Hope without Faith and you can’t have Love without Trust.
     Whatever is going on in my life, anyone can surely tell I love my two children, Heather and Joshua, and my seven, very bad at times, grandchildren.
     I constantly chat with friends, around the world, via e-mail, so if you have a question or a specific problem that has been haunting you, drop me a line at, and I will respond.
     God Bless and Good Shooting !!





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