Featured Photographer – Doug Wood (2021)

Doug wood

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Our featured photographer this month is one of our newest members, Doug Wood. Doug is a remote member who lives in North Carolina. He was introduced to the club by Jackie Colestock. One of the few benefits of going online with our meetings during the COVID-19 lockdown this year was the opportunity to expand our membership outside of Maryland. Doug comes to us with decades of experience which showed as he dominated our novice digital contests winning Novice Photographer of the Year.

ACC: How long have you been into photography? 

DW: 50 some years.  It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when I started.

ACC: What inspired you to pick up a camera?

DW: My maternal grandfather had a darkroom in his basement.  We lived with them for a few months when I was 3.  So that was my first exposure.  He built an enlarger for me when I was maybe 7.  A wood box with an old camera lens and a light bulb.  Mom and I developed and printed stuff.  I don’t really remember what my camera was, but it took the cartridges that had a built-in roll on both sides.  When I was 12 or 13, I bought my first 35mm.  Fixed lens not an SLR.  A Konica.  It has a bit of a history.  The picture of the Air Force Academy that I submitted as one of my monochrome entries was taken with that camera.  In 84 I sold it to Jackie, and she has passed it to her son.

ACC: What equipment do you shoot with?

DW: I have a Nikon D5300.  For years my only lens was a Tamron 18-270.  It has died and been replaced by a Sigma 17-70.  I do plan on getting another all-around zoom, but I like my Sigma.  I’m very weight sensitive.  My camera has been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the top of Kilimanjaro.

ACC: What are your favorite subjects?

DW: I’ve always had a passion for architecture with gothic being my favorite and anything else old following on. I love walking the old towns of Europe’s cities.  My second passion is landscapes.

ACC: How long have you been in the Arundel Camera Club?

DW: Since September 2020.

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

DW: I suppose my favorite lighting is my own.  My college degree is Theatre lighting design.  It ended up being a hobby not my profession, but I do like photographing my own shows.  Beyond that, I’d say “interesting”.  My training as a lighting designer taught me to “see light” I like light as compositional element.  Shafts of light, broken patterns, or shapes strongly modeled by light.

ACC: Is photography a hobby or profession? 

DW: It’s a hobby, in many ways, even a secondary hobby, but it is very complimentary to both my love of outdoor travel, and my theatre work.

ACC: What photographers have inspired you?

DW: My grandfather was clearly my first inspiration.  I learned last summer when we moved my mom out of my childhood home that he had taught aerial photography between the wars, and I came home with a box of his plates.  Not photographers, but I’ll claim Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt as inspiration.  It’s hard to do landscapes and not be influenced by Ansel Adams. More recently: Ken Jenkins and Maurice Crosby.

ACC: How would you describe your photography?

DW: I suppose I’m somewhere between a realist and an impressionist.  I capture real recognizable images, but I’m very interested in the play of light through my image. 

ACC: How would you describe yourself?

DW: If man is created in the image of God, the first record act of God was to create.  I am, at the most basic, a designer.  I can envision something that doesn’t exist, and what’s required to create it.  Whether that is in very esoteric ways in my profession creating software, doing theatre lighting, designing my house, or photography.   Seeing something come into being under my hands – virtual or physical is very rewarding for me.

ACC: Where do you find inspiration or motivation?

DW: A lot of my inspiration comes from the beauty and intricacy of the natural world.  Appreciating God’s creative power.  That’s followed by works of art that lift the spirit. 

DW: When I was studying lighting design, we had a big-name Broadway designer teach a seminar.  I still remember Gilbert talking about the “the great lighting designer in the sky”, and what God could do with just one light.

ACC: Noteworthy accomplishments? 

DW: Not really, I haven’t sought much public exposure.  My image titles Reflection from the March competition won the Indianapolis Star vacation photo competition in maybe 2003, and later an honorable mention in the Indiana State Fair. A few random submissions to mass competitions over the years, but other than that, the club is the first time that I’ve submitted my work for any kind of meaningful critique.