Bob Webber (2021)

My School in UK 1965 (about age 13)

Image 13 of 13

Our featured photographer this month is Bob Webber. What can you say about Bob…Well we almost always recognize his photographs by his unique style and vision. When I think of Bob’s photography the word that comes to mind is experimental. Bob takes chances and is not afraid to confuse and baffle our judges. He and his wife are always quick to lend a hand and volunteer. That has proven to be critical to the success of our club.

ACC: How long have you been into photography? 

BW: From about 1960 when I made a camera out of a cardboard box and my grandmother’s opera glasses, but serious photography started with a 35mm film SLR camera in 1971 when I first visited my American aunts, uncle and cousins in Wisconsin.

ACC: What inspired you to pick up a camera?

BW: Being something of a science geek, I want to prove to myself if no one else that I was more than a nerd. I don’t like writing, can’t play a musical instrument and still haven’t mastered painting or drawing. The only art left was Photography.

ACC: What equipment do you shoot with?

BW: Started with a Praktica 35mm film SLR (East German, low cost, camera popular in England) which was much less expensive than a Pentax, though like Pentax it used a 42mm lens mount so you could use a wide variety of lenses. Trading up over the next decade I entered the world a bayonet lens mounts with a Canon AV1. So much quicker for changing lenses. Been with Canon ever since.

BW: Started with digital cameras with Canon PowerShot S110 (2 Megapixel). After several trades, the current working set of cameras is: Canon Rebel T5i and T6i (24 Megapixel 1.6 crop sensor) and a suite of Tamron lenses from 10 to 600mm plus bellows, extension tubes, ring light, Speed lite Flash and tripods of course. In recent years, my son Ben has been contributing with various accessories such as collapsible reflectors and portable lighting tents. Often take both cameras on field trips, one with a wide zoom and the other with a long zoom as I hate changing lenses in the field. In spite of the extra load, I haven’t bust my shoulders yet.

BW: For software I use FastStone, Paintshop Pro, Helicon Focus 7 for focus stacking.

ACC: What are your favorite subjects?

BW: Bugs, flowers, more colors the better, and machines, especially ones with lots of moving parts, like clocks. I like to see how things work, it’s the geek/science thing. I like to inject some humor into images when I can. The DK image was for the decay themed contest. The judge was not amused.

ACC: What is your favorite lighting, time of day, indoors or out?

BW: Contre-jour (literally against the day) that is backlit or low side light on flowers. Also white and colored LED lights that I make.

ACC: Is photography a hobby or profession? 

BW: A hobby, though in the interest of full disclosure, I recently sold one Black and White print of baby a Chameleon on a pencil that I took in 1971 in Nigeria.

ACC: How long have you been in the Arundel Camera Club and what offices have you held in the club?

BW: Joined in 2014. Two years as Field Trips and VP Contests. Now just assisting with Contests and Newsletter.

ACC: What photographers have inspired you?

BW: Club members, A.A. Bodine, Henri Cartier-Bresson for serious work, but I am more fascinated by surreal and quirky artists and photographers especially if there is an element of humor in their work. 

ACC: Where do you find inspiration or motivation?

BW: Art and Photography museums, nature walks and machines, working or not. I have collected a fair number of coffee table art books and some by well-known photographers.

ACC: How would you describe yourself and your  photography?

BW: I joined the camera club to learn the art side of photography. Up to that point and looking back I realized that most of what I had been doing was personal documentary, that is recording events, adventures and some macro work with flowers, butterflies and occasional abstract. ACC has given me a chance to learn to create images with a theme and how to look and see what would make an interesting or an amusing picture. I have also learned how do decent prints worthy of hanging on a wall.

ACC: How has your approach to photography evolved?

Working on developing images that are somewhere between abstract, humor and sharing my fascination with intricate mechanisms. I suppose I am evolving a style as some club members say they can identify my images during contests even before the image’s authorship is revealed.

ACC: Noteworthy accomplishments?

Giving a talk to the club “Hidden Colors” on using of curves. Earlier this year I somehow got involved in writing a piece for this newsletter about authentic images. Now I really must get back to creating images.