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Photographer decides to pass passion to others

Staff writer

Gerald Wiens’ interest in photography was sparked in junior high 50 years ago and blossomed into a lifetime passion that snagged him publication in a top magazine.

Now, Wiens is looking to pass his knowledge on to others, starting with a class 9 a.m. Jan. 11 through Marion Parks and Recreation.

“It’s not the ideal time to get out and photograph,” he said. “This particular class is going to be more along the basics of digital photography.”

Wiens’ interest started when he was a student, but it took a step forward when he started working at Chaplin Nature Center in Arkansas City in the 1980s.

“At that point, I decided I was going to start taking a lot of pictures of nature and wildlife, and I put together a slide program for educational purposes,” he said.

One of the highlights came when Wiens was named a winner for a photo submission to National Wildlife Magazine.

“We had like 11 winners out of 14,000 entries,” he said. “I started getting letters, and people were calling me, wanting to know if I’d sell them a print.”

The opportunity convinced Wiens to start selling his work at craft shows, and he eventually co-published a book called “Kansas Wildlife.”

While phone cameras make photography more accessible, there are limitations, Wiens said.

“If someone is really interested in photography, they’re going have to use something other than their cell phone,” he said. “At that point, you really need to have understanding of the relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and how light goes onto those images.”

Gaining an understanding of photography principals is important because it enables people to experiment and find their own niche, Wiens said.

“You have the basic understanding of what’s going on in the camera and the lighting,” he said. “Maybe somebody really likes flowers. Maybe a lady likes flowers and ends up making her own note cards.”

Last modified Dec. 23, 2019

 

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