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Featured Photographer - March 2017

Ann Kramer “It all began with a bird feeder”, is one of the favorite sayings around our house. Over the past six years, we grew our backyard into a bird habitat and began a journey which led us on many new adventures. We became enthralled with birds and began attending Audubon events and California Bird Festivals. One of my personally transformative experiences occurred about two years ago at an Audubon camp in Maine, where I attended a weeklong photography workshop with Melissa Groo, an awarded bird photographer. There, my passion for bird photography literally took wings. For two people who had been indoor office workers, the skies opened up for us. Over the past two years, my camera’s and lenses grew and about the only thing I have less of is spare cash. Often with my husband, we or I have traveled to regions of California, Nebraska, Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico to view birds and visit wildlife refuges. My supportive husband helps me with the formidable equipment I have to carry, and has encouraged and supported my love for nature and photography even before I did. He enjoys the peace and beauty of nature. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice for over 30 years, and now, for the next two years before I (we) retire, work a couple days a week. Working indoors becomes ever more difficult now and I’m usually itching to spend every waking moment with a camera in my hands. I had my first photography show at a small nature gallery last year and participated in the Red Dirt Festival in Fall. But one of the most confidence building experiences was winning two first place awards in the Winter Competition at RCC, after entering at the last hour upon a member’s suggestion. I guess one expects friends and family to say nice things but the anonymity of the competition and consequent positive nod was a true validation of the work I’ve done the past few years and encouragement to continue to learn. I wanted to say a few things, briefly, about the ups and downs of photography. I have experienced some of the most exhilarating moments in life photographing and editing as well as some of the most exasperating. About a month ago, Lightroom seemed to implode on me and I had to recover over 80 thousand photos. Some beautiful Cedar Waxwings were never recovered. I’m learning to cull photos now and to use lightroom more effectively. Rick Strobaugh, our RCC mentor, suggested a class and it’s been helpful for me. I’m grateful for Redlands Camera Club. I’ve attended four meetings now and my impression is RCC does a nice job of welcoming new members and providing support and information through their meetings, evaluation nights, competitions, classes and mentoring. I’ve been surprised, frankly, at the warmth and hospitality of the club. I’m looking forward to attending some of the field trips and enjoying many more years of involvement in the club.
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