Taking a Different Path – Why I moved beyond Landscape Photography

For over 30 years, my work has centered on landscape and outdoor photography.  This program is about my conversion and new passion to photograph people and social interaction.  I will touch on my previous work in landscape photography, my accidental foray into street photography, and the continuing work within my current project of street/documentary photography.  I will mention events, certain photographers that have influenced the change in my work, and the technological advances in cameras, which have helped make this conversion easier.  I will talk about how I have learned from my mistakes and the reasoning behind this change in my photographic calling.  Currently, most of my work centers on photographing people that work at regional carnivals and fairs.  This four-year project has taken me to fairs from Maine to Texas, mostly concentrating on regional fairs and carnivals in NY, MD, VA, and PA.  I will show examples of the Photoshop changes I have made to some photographs to enhance the focus on the people. This program is image laden and story heavy, in particular, my most thought provoking photographs and the mental process that accompanies the images.  This program should last about 60 minutes.

About the artist

Andrew started photography in college. His introduction to photography meant sharing a Konica Rangefinder 35mm camera with another student and processing film in the darkroom. He found the experience unsatisfying. Despite trepidations, he received a Canon AE-1 from his parents as a graduation present. From that point on, photography became a fulfilling adventure. While re-learning photography through family and sports photographs, Andrew took the leap of faith and joined the Harrisburg Camera Club in 1986. For 36 years, Mr. Hoff has been a member while continually honing his photography skills. He started by training himself with finicky B&W infra-red film and color slide film. Moving on to a Canon F-1 and an Olympus OM-4 in the mid 80’s, Andrew continued photographing in infra-red and moved to Fuji slide film. He focused extensively on architectural and landscape photography. He continued that work until digital photography made film cameras and processing untenable. In 2008, he grudgingly converted to digital photography.
The digital experience gave him new life as a photographer. He began to expand his vision and do something different. Andrew stopped photographing landscapes as his primary work and spent the next three years photographing abstractly utilizing a learning curve. Since then, he has worked in multiple genres of photography. In 2015, Andrew started photographing people by necessity. The challenge of photographing people pushed himself towards building a documentary portfolio based on carnival workers. His current focus has taken him to fairs and carnivals from Maine to Texas.
Andrew currently presents a variety of educational programs for novices through experienced photographers. In addition, he critiques photos and juried images for numerous photographic organizations, conferences and competitions in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, and South Carolina. He has taught photography for children’s photography camps and for adult evening classes. His images have been showcased in exhibition catalogues, solo and group shows, and have been accepted into regional, national, and international juried shows. Andrew’s work is in the permanent collection of the Pennsylvania State Museum and the Susquehanna Art Museum as well as in numerous private collections.
Andrew has a degree in Communications-Journalism and resides in York County, Pennsylvania. He is the past president of the Harrisburg Camera Club serving two stints as president and was the developer and catalyst for the annual spring “Light and Creativity” photography conference held in central PA. Under Mr. Hoff’s leadership, innovations and changes to the club were crucial to the club’s survival, subsequent expansion, and commitment to exhibition-quality work during the transition from film to digital.

R. Andrew Hoff