I’ve had some type of camera in my hand for as long as I can remember. I started taking my photography more seriously in the mid 80’s when I started shooting 35mm with an old Canon AL-1. I mainly shot black and white and processed my own work. Unfortunately, most of my old work went missing, Lost in a move. I started shooting digital in 2004 when my wife bought me a Canon 300D. I’ve since graduated to better equipment.

Photography to me is in the eye of the photographer no matter what equipment you have. Some of the best photos I have seen from other photographers have been with extremely old or low cost equipment. Steve McCurry says it best “Be true to the light, even when there isn’t any”. Learning the light is the hardest part of understanding photography and what produces a good picture.

I joined the Bass Lake Photography Club last year. The club was new and since conception we have incorporated, have a website, had a gallery showing and have made great progress in our organization. I was voted in as Vice President this fall. I also volunteer for their telecommunications committee. There are a lot of talented people in the club. Being a member of the club for me challenges me to keep my level of photography up to the standards people expect of me.

I started sharing my work a couple of years ago. For me, being a photographer is about sharing with others. Empowering someone to see the images from inside my head. A reaction from the viewer is what does it for me. With the electronic age, for someone to take the time and effort to comment on my work makes it all worth while. I process my images on the computer but only to the extent of correcting small imperfections in the technical aspects of the shot. Everything that I present is just like I saw it when the photo was taken. There is no perfect picture and at the same time every picture is perfect. Each artist has their own style. If that incorporates heavy use of programs like Photoshop, that is their vision and should be appreciated as such.

I suppose I can be considered a semi-pro photographer. I sell some of my work but only to recoup a portion of the costs it takes to produce a photograph. I do not make my living at photography. That would take away what it means to me. I do wish I had more time for doing what I love but when you depend on it to make a living, it also changes the purpose of the photographer. I am asked to shoot weddings rather often and I politely decline. However, I do enjoy shooting some candid work at weddings. I also enjoy most any challenging photographic situation. Even though I consider myself more toward the technical side, from the feedback I have received over the years others see an artistic side as well.

If you have made it this far, I appreciate you hanging in there while I belt out the random thoughts from inside my head. I only hope one of my photographs can make a difference in your life however insignificant the difference might be, an impression if you will. I also hope my photographs say more than my writing does.

Jerry Mumma