I have been an avid amateur photographer for over 40 years starting with an introduction to photography while stationed in Germany with the US Army. I purchased my first camera there and started taking photographs in the local town and on base. I was fortunate that we had a photography lab on the base with all the facilities to develop and print photos and I began learning all aspects of the photographic process.

After returning from the service I started looking into photography classes. I lived in New York City so I had a lot of choices which I took advantage of as often as possible. My initial focus was doing street photography in New York City using black and white film so I could develop and print my own work.

In the early 2000’s I came across the Ken Burns documentary on the development of the National Park System and was amazed by the wealth and breadth of the many beautiful areas in the country that I lived in. Because of this I immediately switched my focus to Landscape and Nature photography with most of the emphasis being on landscapes. In 2005 I relocated to Santa Fe New Mexico to be closer to some of the natural wonders of the Southwest which was high desert with plenty of sunshine but was very cold in the winter. In 2015 I relocated to Eugene Oregon which was so totally different with many months of rain but a spectacular coastline which I have focused on since being here.

My goal is to keep on improving my photographic skills and to visit as many different areas of this country and in the process build a portfolio of images that reflect the great beauty in this country. I have read many books on photography and always seem to have one on my night table. The main thing I have learned over the years is that reading books on photography, taking tutorials and classes on photography are all well and good but nothing beats getting out there and taking as many photographs as possible because I believe that the key to improvement is practice.

J. F. D’Ornellas

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