As the year wraps up, I'd like to give a big shout-out to the crew at work that helps keep me energized and excited for photography. Here is the long version of an article we wrote for an employee news letter. Thank you to everyone for helping me get out of the office regularly to shoot and improve my skills.
Charles Booker (ITS Department)
How did you realize you had a common interest? How did you decide to start taking pictures together? I found a common interest while talking with Stefan (Minnig) one day. And I decided to give it a try since I had always been into photography but had never tried bird photography before. I quickly realized that I needed a zoom lens since my kit lens was not delivery any good results. So I went the inexpensive route and purchased a used manual focus 300mm lens. My results did improve greatly but I quickly found that the learning curve was steep and was not able to get as many good shots since our bird subjects were not always willing to sit still long enough for me to compose my shot, then manually focus to get the shots that I desired. So at the advice of Stefan I eventually purchased a auto focus lens which has allowed me to progress in my photography skills greatly. When it comes to bird photography though I still seek out Stefan’s advice and his help with identifying different bird species."
See more of Charles' photos on Flickr
Michael Rowe (New Product Development)
How did you realize you had a common interest? How did you decide to start taking pictures together? A common love of photography, and the desire to learn from each other, to build our skills. Part of it was the Employee photography in the hallways, and the Kettering Gallery.
How do you decide where to take photos? I can find subjects anywhere, but I like a variety…
Does everyone photograph the same types of subjects (insects, flowers)? Or do you all photograph different subjects? I don’t have a long telephoto lens, so I rarely try to take bird photos. I usually try to find a different perspective, and aim for smaller details that often get overlooked, I bought a fairly nice Macro lens, and have been using that to see lots of detail.
More of Mike's photography at: https://500px.com/mikerowe
Meredith Skeens (Creative Services)
New to the lunchtime group, Meredith writes "hoping to start getting out and shooting more." See Meredith's work at meredithalanephotography.blogspot.com
Jeremy Mudd (Marketing)
From what departments is the photo group? We all come from multiple departments: Marketing, NPD, OPS, IT, Creative, and of course the Photography department.
How did you realize you had a common interest? How did you decide to start taking pictures together? I came to the game late, as I didn't start working here at ACCO until December 2014 and the group was already out and about taking photos at lunch. I think I started taking photos with the group sometime in January. I remember the first few times we were out my hands were freezing, and Stefan kept talking about how great his shots looked and all I had was a small spec in my photo of something that was supposed to be a bird. Of course, I was shooting with a fairly short lens at the time and he was shooting with something large enough to set off warnings at a NATO Security checkpoint. Since then I've acquired a longer lens so I can take images of birds far away and actually see what it is I am photographing.
How do you decide where to take photos? Usually its a group decision based on weather, cloud conditions, who is driving that day, and what time of year it is. Of course if Stefan gets a report of a Spotted Apothecary Warbler seen somewhere in the area, then we are off to that location to scout it out regardless of conditions or risk to life and limb.
Does everyone photograph the same types of subjects (insects, flowers)? Or do you all photograph different subjects? Right now most of us shoot birds at lunch, but we also will shot bugs, landscapes, and architecture. Most of us have a diverse background in photography likes and will shoot images of just about anything.
In addition to the Kettering Employee Art Gallery, where else might we see photography work done by these employees? Many of us have Flickr accounts with images that are view-able to the public. Also many of us have our own websites or blogs dedicated to photography.
See more of Jeremy's work on Flickr
Robb Nickel (Direct to Consumer - Creative Services)
How did you realize you had a common interest? Stefan is also in D2C Creative and We started talking one day and then went out to start taking photos one day and it kinda went from there.
How did you decide to start taking pictures together? How do you decide where to take photos? We usually pick a park around the area that we all agree on before hand.
Does everyone photograph the same types of subjects (insects, flowers)? Or do you all photograph different subjects? Stefan really got me into shooting birds. Before hand I had no idea there were so many different species in the area and during migration.
See more of Robb's photos at 500px.com/rnickell
Brian Sellers (New Product Development)
How did you realize you had a common interest? How did you decide to start taking pictures together? I learned about the "photo club" right away as two members were in my department. I was invited along not long after I started with ACCO and have been on several outings during my tenure.
Does everyone photograph the same types of subjects (insects, flowers)? Or do you all photograph different subjects? Most outings involve nature in some way so there's never a shortage of interesting subject matter: flowers, birds, bugs, or people. One of my favorite photos was a grab shot of Stefan, Rob, & Charles shooting birds. I was away from the pack and looked ahead to see the three of them lined up and focused on the same bird.
Additional photos can be found on http://www.railpictures.net. Just search for Brian's name.
Stefan Minnig (Direct to Consumer - Creative Services)
Okay - Stefan didn't actually submit for the article, but we'd all be remiss if we didn't give Stafan a big thank you. Passionate birder and photographer, Stefan gets everyone going (almost every day) to go, take an hour, and shoot some photography. Here are a couple of photos he's shared over the past year. Looking forward to seeing more of his work online in the coming new year (right Stefan?).
Thank you to everyone. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I look forward to another great year of photography.