This week we’re getting to know community member, Arnold Brown. After practicing optometry for 44 years, Arnold is looking forward to spending more time with photography and other activities such as traveling, hiking and biking, as well as spending time with grandkids.

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How did you get started in photography?

“I grew up in a large family and there were always pictures being taken (my parents’ old Brownie box camera) as family memories. So, when I was in high school, I expressed the desire to have a camera.”

What was your first camera?

“That first camera was an Agfa 110, and I took lots of photos with that.  I got my first “real” camera after finishing university in 1978, and it was a Yashica FR1 with a 50 mm f1.9 lens.  The next year I added a Contax RTS body and two lenses, a Tamron 35-80mm f/2.8-3.5 and Tamron 80-210mm f/3.8-4.  I still have all of these items.”

Who is one photographer that inspires you and why?

“I have thought on this for a while and although I could name one of the elites of photography who we all know, I would pick Ewan Dunsmuir.  Ewan is a Scot from the Orkney Islands who lives and works in New Zealand.  He creates fine art panoramic landscape images with a Pentax 645 digital that are usually presented in very large prints for individuals and corporate clients. 

“His images are exquisite but beyond that, his meticulous thought process and planning. His philosophy of why and how he makes images takes his art to another level. This gets me to think about not only how I make an image but even why we make images in the first place.  Since 99% of my images live on my computer and never see the light of day, that reason is simply that they give me joy.”

What’s the first thing you look for in composing your image?

“I would say that most of us will see an image immediately, whether it is a natural gift or something we have developed over time with practice.  We see some scene and something makes us stop and examine it. then we can see the final image in our mind, and we analyze what we need to do to create it. 

“For me, I guess that the initial thing I look for is balance, in subject placement, texture, and tone.  And that goes to the planning – it could mean coming back at a different time of day or in different weather (if possible – not always possible if you are traveling) to get the image we saw in our mind.

 “Edward Weston was asked about his theory of composition and he responded, ‘Simple: Do not release the shutter until everything in the viewfinder feels just right.'”

Join Arnold and others in the Photofocus Community!

If you’d like the opportunity to be featured like Arnold, join the community here. More than that though, it’s a great place to meet other photographers, share images and talk about all things photography.