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Our guest photographer this week is my brother, Lon Dean, from Seal Beach, California.  The following is his “take” on photography.  (Also see yesterday’s post.)

“I’ve always been enthralled with photographs.  As a child I often watched slide shows with my family when my dad got out the old slide projector and set up the special white screen that magically appeared out of a metal tube on a tripod.  We’d make popcorn and watch for hours, at least it seemed like hours!  I was especially excited whenever a photo of me came up.

When I was about 8 years old I had my dad buy me a darkroom setup so I could develop my own photos.  I must have been too young to really figure how to do it well but remember when I first dipped the paper into some chemicals and saw a black and white likeness of our dog appear.  I was ecstatic!  I wanted to buy an enlarger but could never save enough money to buy one.  The long, narrow closet in which I had set up the darkroom  eventually became my bedroom . . . and there was no more room for chemicals.

It was years before I took up photography again and then mainly just snapshots.  Then I was called as a LDS missionary to Hong Kong and it was there that I fell in love with photography again.  I bought a a good Pentax SLR and began shooting all the wonderful sights to be seen in Hong Kong . . . I enjoyed that so much more than knocking on people’s doors.  Then one day while I was out, someone broke into the apartment and stole my camera.  I’d love to go back there again just spending all my time shooting . . . and eating.

When I finally retired I had the time to do all the things I really enjoyed . . tennis . . table tennis . . eating . . . and photography.  I bought one of the best cameras out at the time and almost all the lenses I wanted.  (I still want the 800 or 1000 mm zoom but am still wondering if I could get $10,000 dollars worth of enjoyment from it!)  My sister Melanie helped me so much at the beginning learning the basics of digital photography.  I was enthralled with her photos, especially the ones out on the Salt Flats.  Since then some of the  best times I’ve had in photography have been shooting with her.  Some of the most memorable were in St. George, American Fork Canyon, the Utah State Capitol Building and our old hometown Smithfield.

I still don’t have a “specialty”.  I love taking landscapes, people, macro shots, dogs, birds, architecture, sports action, and figuring out which lens works best with a particular shot.  I’ve grown to love Photoshop.  I love manipulating images and discovering new “plug ins”.  I still have lots to learn but it’s always exciting to me.”