Working with Gary Paige and hearing him mention his first camera caused me to reflect on the early passion that many of us felt for photography and how we remember our first cameras with feelings of nostalgia. Warm memories of our first captures and the device that made it all possible. What a blessing to have become aware of the technology of the time that was a stepping stone in our present quest for art. As you will hear Gary’s love of the arts has had a profound effect on him and the different facets of his life.
“My introduction to Photography began with the gift of a Kodak Hawkeye at age 7 and evolved into a life-long endeavor. Music was also an early passion and even career path, such that I left home at age 14 for an arts high school at Interlochen, Michigan in the late 60's. However, academics seized my attention, and ultimately a career following 15 additional years of study (college, medical and graduate school, internship and residency). I have remained in academia, engaged in research (sensory-motor neuroscience), teaching, and medicine (dizziness and balance disorders), particularly at the University of Rochester since 1990.
A common thread across disciplines stems from my lifelong adoration of jazz. Whether career or hobby, all require a foundation of knowledge that in turn catalyzes innovation and improvisation. Ultimately, this process formulates a personal stylistic voice. With photography, the overriding challenge has been to hone and enjoy the craft while maintaining a consuming career. My solution has been to exploit gaps in the calendar -weekend outings, side-trips during professional conferences, and targeted exotic vacations. All serve as “experiments,” much like scientific ones, and always expressions of jazz. This synergy works, and even better, is joined with my wife, Myrna, in partnership.
My (our) favorite sub-discipline is wildlife and nature photography, and that drives our personal outings and self-imposed assignments. These include the Falklands, Galapagos, Peruvian Amazon, five African countries (and counting), Iceland, and of course, the US. Culture remains another interest, and this is where extensions to professional meetings shine, particularly in Europe. We enjoy heading off the grid, digging into local environs, and capturing what we can of the ambiance. Meanwhile, Upstate New York is quite lovely in its own right, with the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes offering outstanding photographic opportunities.
I cannot recall how, but it was a long time ago upon acquiring my first Nikon DSLR -the D70- when the nikonians community first surfaced for me. I was thrilled to witness the richness and style of this site, the learning curve that arises, and the wonderful community that remains engaged and interactive.
The forums. Whatever the issue, responders show up to add wisdom to even esoteric topics. Several posts from me requesting help or advice have always provoked solutions. I weigh in myself at times, but only if there is something useful, unique, or catalytic, to add.
The contests have been terrific as well. It took time for me to begin submitting, but once initiated, I have participated sporadically, always grateful for the experience and occasional successes. The Wildlife and Landscape versions have been favorites. However, I helped instigate the Travel contest, and that remains a favorite as well.
A favorite and eclectic technical tip is worthwhile. I have a rubber-band on all of my lenses—the wide type used to bind vegetables (e.g. asparagus). They are useful to remove stuck filters, particularly polarizers which have small fixed rings, and also to better secure rain-hoods or quick cellophane bag solutions in emergencies, among a myriad of other uses. They are effectively free, readily replaceable, and up there with gaffer tape for utility.
One evening at an infamous spot in the Falklands called ‘The Neck,’ I wondered alone one evening to catch the twilight with a colony of Gentoo penguins. After shooting for some 20 minutes or so, I stopped to rest. Turning around to survey the area, there behind me was a collection of spectators—Gentoos at least 10-deep and in a hemicircle just a few feet away, curious as to what this peculiar ‘giant penguin’ before them was doing in their yard. I burst into laughter, which frightened them, and so they all turned in unison and rushed radially outward, only to stop after about 10’ and turn their heads and observe the consequences. I remained still and with low voice, and so they gradually returned to their ‘seats’ to continue with the performance. When done, I gathered my rig, and now, unafraid, they simply parted a path as I walked out and away, bidding them a good night. How sweet is that? Extraordinary…. permanent memory.”
Note: Post-processing included only general image characteristics, global and local, without modifying any structural elements (i.e. no cloning, color change, etc.)
Gary or as we know him, JazzDoc, also brought up a thought worthy of some reflection. His passion for music and the arts, including photography, became an integral part of his career. His work was infused, flourishing with a vision inspired by a unique perspective. Other Nikonians may have experienced similar adding dimension to their careers. Gary expressed an interest in hearing of your experiences.
It has been a great opportunity to become more familiar with you Gary. Thanks for your thoughts and images which will be so enjoyable to view and to remember.
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