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I am Nikonians

John Roach (jdroach) Interview

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)


Keywords: john_roach, jdroach

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John is a regular member at Nikonians, first signing up back in 2009 and has participated on multiple ANPATs over the years. Always being very supportive, helping other photographers improving their photography, providing gear and post-processing tips & tricks while sharing his own photographs.

You probably have seen some of John’s excellent images at Nikonians, several of which have won our Best of Nikonians contests, and inspired others to reach new heights. He is shooting a mix of landscape, architecture, wildlife, travel and detailed work, such as flower macro photography

In this interview we will learn a bit more about John and how he approaches his photography and finds inspiration. We hope you will find it interesting!

Over to John:

I am a former US Navy senior enlisted man and Vietnam Veteran, business executive with an engineering, business degree and MBA. Having worked as a Project Manager in the Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation and Controls Industry for many years, I retired as a Director of Operations in Hospital Facilities Operations.  

For the last six years I have lived in the Richmond, Virginia area where we moved when my wife retired.  Prior to that I lived around 40 years in the Chicago and Milwaukee area.

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Chicago Board of Trade, Nikon D90 with 18-105mm at 40mm, ISO 200, 1/15s, f4.5, Lightroom and DxO Nik Silver Efex Pro.
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After retiring at the age of 65 (I'm 79 now) photography turned into my foremost passion and thanks to plentiful shooting opportunities here in Virginia, I have added nature and wildlife photography to my interests. There are many great locations around the James River and the eastern seaboard letting me study and capture Eagle, Osprey, Herons and many other forms of wildlife.

Since I bought an FM2 back in 1980, it was natural for me to pick a Nikon as my first DSLR as well, a D90 in 2009.  Shortly after I had purchased the D90, I discovered the Nikonians community and immediately found it to be a welcome resource for learning, sharing and interacting with other Nikon camera folks.  I became a Platinum member in short order so that I could take advantage of all that Nikonians offer and to support our wonderful and friendly community.

Being determined to learn as much as I could about photography, I took a myriad of courses, earning certifications and continue to learn to this day while using a variety of venues. I frequently visit study groups, online courses and teach at a camera club and local universities. I have found that teaching enhances my own learning.
 

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Streamlined Flight, Nikon D500 with 200-500mm at 360mm, ISO 140, 1/1600s, f5.6, Lightroom.
Click for an enlargement

There was a period on my photography journey when I mainly focused on the gear I used, owning several different Nikon DSLR's. Now it is more about how to create a compelling and memorable image in whatever genre I choose, and my primary interests are landscape, flower, travel and wildlife. Having a great passion for artistry helps me create my monochrome images, as well as various painterly points of view.

My Nikon Df, D500, an IR-converted D90, as well as my Z6 are used frequently.  A Fuji X series camera, sometimes with a Nikkor lens via adapter, comes in handy as well. For post processing I am mainly using Adobe Lightroom and occasionally Photoshop along with a wide array of other software tools being applied in the creative process.

While being involved with many venues for sharing and learning photography, I consider Nikonians my home.  I value it for the friendships, interaction, the occasional Annual Nikonians Photographic Adventure Trips (ANPAT's) and most importantly for the inspiration I get from fellow members.

Having evolved from a fledging beginner to an advanced photographer has been possible through my consistent involvement with Nikonians.  Many Nikonians, too many to name individually, have helped me on my path by answering questions, offering critique and sharing their own, inspiring work.  It is that body of work that I've sought to emulate while developing my own personal style and point of view.  Daily I look forward to see a few new ways of “seeing” from fellow members.

My single piece of advice comes from having seen many Nikonians evolve, to discover a greater understanding and appreciation of what photography can be, how to see light and create images reflecting what we want to show others, to see through our own eyes. 

“Be open to possibilities through study, practice and experiment with the light.  To do this, continue to learn the art of seeing, be true to yourself, become familiar with your camera and capture the light frequently even when you don’t feel like it.  Then share what you learn; teach others.  Like any art form, the challenges are sometimes enormous and can be hard to overcome, but the rewards are limitless.” (jdroach)

I have so many wonderful memories of shared experiences, meaningful images captured, shared stories, laughs, silly moments, wonderful places around the world as well as my solitary day trip adventures at all different times of the day.  I have made many mistakes, but also have received many rewards as well as recognition and “Awards”.

Perhaps, though, one of my most memorable experiences goes back to my first ANPAT in 2011.  We had gotten to Bryce Canyon anticipating seeing the beauty of the Canyon after being in Zion, Red Canyon and Cedar Breaks.  However, it was pouring rain the night we arrived, and the weather forecast for the next day was pretty gloomy.  Overnight the rain turned to snow and the next morning the sun occasionally shone spectacularly upon the canyon with wonderful clouds, splendid light and a glistening snow.

This landscape made it possible for me to capture one of my favorites, “Bryce Canyon and Trail” below.  Learning how to use HDR I was able to create an image which gave me the confidence to know it's possible to capture many more wonderful things with my camera. Key is to practice, to be patient, to listen and to learn from others about the range of possibilities I have in “capturing the light” and creating art with my photography.

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Bryce Canyon and Trail, Nikon D90 with 18-200mm at 21mm, ISO 200, 1/125s, f/16 (3 image HDR), Lightroom and Photomatics.
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It is always a pleasure reviewing your work, John.  Your work reflects your motivation to get out in all seasons and times of day in search of the extraordinary.   We appreciate your willingness to participate in this feature.  It must have been a challenge to choose these few images from the myriad you have in your collection -- Thanks! Marsha.

 

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The Passage, Nikon D800 with 16-35mm f4 lens at 35mm, ISO 4000, 1/200s, f/9, Lightroom and DxO Nik Silver Efex Pro.
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Monochrome Rose, Nikon D700 with Tamron 90mm, ISO 200, 1/60s, Remote Flash, f/32, Lightroom and DxO Nik Silver Efex Pro.
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Summer at the Lagoon, Nikon D90 IR 590nm converted with 18-200mm at 22mm, ISO 400, 1/200s, f/11, Capture NX2, Photoshop, Lightroom and DxO Nik Silver Efex Pro.
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Split Rock Lighthouse, Nikon D750 with 28-300mm at 68mm, ISO 100, 1/200s, f/11, 5 image HDR, Lightroom, DxO Nik Silver Efex Pro.
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Cirque Meadow, Nikon D750 with 28-300mm at 28mm, ISO 800, 1/250s, f/14, Lightroom.
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Osprey with Fish, Nikon D500 with 200-500mm at 200mm, ISO 250, 1/1600s, f/6.3, Lightroom.
Click for an enlargement

 

Originally written on December 15, 2023

Last updated on March 30, 2024

Marsha Edmunds Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for her in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.  Awarded for winning in The Best of Nikonians 2019 Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for the contribution to the 2016 campaign Donor Ribbon awarded for the generous contribution to the 2020 campaign

Lethbridge, Canada
Team, 13857 posts

More articles by Marsha Edmunds

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12 comments

Lawrence Ray (ldray) on February 29, 2024

Donor Ribbon awarded for the contribution to the 2024 campaign

John and Marsha, thanks for the great interview. John, I always enjoy your images. Some of them bring back great memories as I lived in both Glen Allen, VA and Chicagoland. Please keep the great images coming.

Paul Blais (PBlais) on February 25, 2024

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for his multiple, generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Donor Ribbon awarded for the contribution to the 2016 campaign

(Edited by bgs Saturday, 30 March 2024 ) --- comment removed since out of context / admin

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2) on November 29, 2023

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for her in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.  Awarded for winning in The Best of Nikonians 2019 Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for the contribution to the 2016 campaign Donor Ribbon awarded for the generous contribution to the 2020 campaign

Thanks everyone - all the credit of course goes to John.

Alane Shoemaker (Peregrination) on November 29, 2023

John, I have sure enjoyed your impactful images through the years! Alane

Gregory Krebs (Greg1954) on November 25, 2023

Donor Ribbon awarded for the contribution to the 2020 campaign Donor Ribbon awarded for the generous contribution to the 2024 campaign

Marsha, a wonderful interview as only you could do. John, your work has always inspired me and kept me in awe. Your images, and the journey you've taken to reach perfection is a model for all of us to follow. Thank you for the great art over the years John. And, not to forget, thank you for your service to your country! Greg

Barry Archer (archerb) on November 22, 2023

Thank you John for sharing a bit of your journey with your camera(s). It brings home to me again the fact that beautiful imagery goes beyond the gear that is available today. The love of the craft, sharing with and listening to others as well as time taken in thoughtful practice all work together to achieve impactful images. It is an honour to have you as an example and resource for us all here in Nikonians. Thank you too Marsha for this opportunity to hear from John.

Tom Jacob (sevendayimages) on November 21, 2023

Awarded for his continuous knowledge and images sharing with community members Awarded for his win at the Best of Nikonians 2016 Photo Contest Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas. Awarded for winning in The Best of Nikonians 2019 Photo Contest 
Winner of the Best of Nikonians Photo Contest 2020
This member has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photo Winner in the Best of Nikonians Photo Contest 2021

Thanks John and Marsha for this wonderful interview and an give us an insight into our Nikonians world. Well written and great photography by John...good job amigo! I surely agree on the part "...to discover a greater understanding and appreciation of what photography can be" Excellent said. Thanks to both and Marsha, good to see this feature back! :)

Dawn Woolsey (Dawnacious) on November 21, 2023

Donor Ribbon awarded for the contribution to the 2024 campaign

A very enjoyable and inspiring read John & Marsha. Thank you for sharing the insights of your photographic journey John, I always enjoy your more than beautiful images!

Shari Wilkinson (BelleInPA) on November 19, 2023

I so enjoyed reading about John’s photography journey. Thank you!

Carman Pagano (the diewrecktor) on November 18, 2023

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

Thanks Marsha, and John for his many insights. Also nice to see I am Nikonians again. I have always enjoyed viewing John's images on Nikonians.

David Summers (dm1dave) on November 18, 2023

Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art a

Great to see I am Nikonians back in action!

Sudheer Dattatray Dharmadhikari (ESSDEEDEE) on November 17, 2023

Thanks a lot Marsha for wonderful interview of John Roach. It's truly eye opener for me. I learned main thing that there is no shortcut to success in this art of photography. it's always a learning process as much you keep your views open to listen more see the images from experts,you will only add to your skill and your photography. Thanks once again

G