Mark has an interesting story about how he developed his passion for photography:
My photography journey started by accident. I really loved photography, but knew nothing. One morning, coming home from a long night working third shift, I saw an older gentlemen shooting pictures down in the weeds by a pond. I thought, boy he must be serious to be up at 6 am shooting. I'm not sure why, but I turned around and stopped to talk with him. I must say he was not very friendly at first. We talked a few minutes and then I asked him: Do you ever give lessons? He said he was really not interested but did suggest a few books. I thanked him and I thought that would be the last I would see of him.
A few days later I had a knock on the door. I opened the door and to both of our surprise, it was the gentleman I had stopped and talked to. My neighbor next door had a wonderful flower garden and he thought it was mine. I helped him get permission to take some photos and the more we talked, the friendlier he became.
My old friend was William Lampas, now deceased. Bill and I were an unlikely match. He was an accomplished wildlife/nature photographer (published and had several agents) and I really didn't know anything about a camera except where to push the shutter button.
Bill, at the time in his eighties, knew just about everything anyone could possibly know about cameras. He had a passion for wildlife that I had never seen. His favorite place was Africa. He had some stunning images. All of his images were taken before the digital age so if you didn't know what you were doing, it could cost you a bundle.
Me, the computer guy, had that same passion with Photoshop. The digital age was just starting with advancements in camera technology. Bill would not believe how great it is today. Bill was very smart and, even at his age, knew with these advancements, change was coming.
We started a friendship with Bill helping me learn how a camera works and I started teaching him Photoshop. We had a lot of fun and he was an amazing, fast learner. It wasn't long before he purchased a Nikon slide scanner and was scanning, processing, and printing his own slide film.
I think the biggest thing I learned working with Bill is that if you have a real passion you can learn just about anything. Take the time to help others as you never know what it can led to. My passion started with a little door knock.
Besides excelling at wildlife and landscape photography, as shown in his images above, Mark also enjoys photographing people.
Concert photography is once of his specialties. Here is his image of blues singer Bernard Allison at the Marshall Blues Fest.
And this is Mark's photo of Deanna Bogart singing and playing keyboard at the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Fest.
But the subject of most of Mark's photography is his grandchildren. With fourteen grandchildren (and three more on the way), Mark is often shooting families, children, holiday and birthday gatherings, sporting events, and recitals.
The two images above are of granddaughter Brooklyn. And below is Payton, intent with grit and concentration on commanding the soccer ball.
Thank you, Mark, for sharing your beautiful images and being willing to be my first guest photographer.