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Where we live: The most talented photographers

I’ve been considered a photojournalist for over 50 years and I’ll confess, I wish I was a better photographer. I often look at the works on social media of other photographers and am in awe - even sometimes jealous - at their creativeness and composition.

At fairs, I’m inspired by the photography exhibits. An area TV station has a weekly “Photolink Library,” displaying pictures, with the names of photographers. Last week there was a picture of a farm scene by Sherry Stevens, a former Lehighton resident now living near Bloomsburg. I liked the photo and had a burst of pride that this picture was taken by someone I know.

I love going into homes and seeing the walls adorned with family pictures; not just portraits but snapshots that convey cherished memories and evoke conversation. My sister-in-law, Leslie, has dozens of photos displayed throughout her house of her children through the years, the pet dogs she’s had and many special events that have occurred. It’s fun looking at them.

Talk to any photographer and no matter how much experience they have, if they’re honest they’ll tell you they’re still learning. On the other hand, there have been Pulitzer Prizes won over the years by amateurs. In other words, no matter what your skill level, have fun with your camera.

Phones are great for taking pictures and many have resolution equal to good cameras, but thumbing through a photo library on a phone isn’t the same as looking at prints.

I’ve become very appreciative of the work by a number of local photographers who have been posting their work on social media.

One is Jim Logue, who inherited his skill from his father. Jim, who also serves as a Times News correspondent, posts scenic shots, pictures of birds and photos from his assignments on Facebook.

One set of pictures he posted which was especially impressive was of lightning from a recent storm. Shooting lightning is very difficult. There are various methods of doing this. Jim’s pictures of the flashes over Jim Thorpe were incredible photos, and tell me he has mastered the camera.

Another photographer who has unparalleled skills is Jason Stewart of Weatherly. Jason, a member of the Palmerton Camera Club, often uses his adorable young daughter as a model for his pictures. His most recent were images of Olivia with a horse that was photoshopped to look like a unicorn.

He’s had many portraits of the daughter, Olivia, that would rival the settings in the most expensive studios. He went on a safari to Africa two years ago and posted images that were of National Geographic quality. He’s captured bats in flight in some of his local pictures. His pictures are nothing less than breathtaking.

Bernard Krebs of Jim Thorpe is a genius with scenic photography. His pictures, mostly of the Jim Thorpe area, are always enjoyable to see.

I’m friends on Facebook with a former classmate, Debra Deis, who now lives in the rural Lebanon area. The thing I enjoy most about being her friend on the social network, besides her pictures, is that all her postings are positive.

The photography she does is often of her pet border collies, farm scenes, garden produce and excursions she takes.

Visiting homes I’ve come to realize you don’t need artwork from a famous artist or world-famous photographer to impress. All it takes is well-selected family photos that anybody is capable of producing. And for those photos that don’t fit on the wall, keep them in albums or photo boxes. I can promise that after time passes and you look back on those photos, it’ll bring more enjoyment than any store-bought scene can deliver.

Speaking of photographers, I don’t believe there is any sports photographer who was better than the late Times News photographer Bob Ford. Yesterday was the six-month anniversary of his untimely death.

Bob could get award-winning shots of any sport, in any weather, during any season.

I will be the first to admit that he taught me a lot of what I know about photography, including what equipment to use. I’m sure many, many of the photos that he has taken will remain hanging on walls in homes and retained in scrapbooks for generations.

While it’s enjoyable to marvel at pictures someone else has taken, it’s more fun to look at photos you’ve taken yourself; or those shot by a loved one. Grab your camera, take pictures and get prints made. You’ll be happy you did.