All of the artists I've featured in the spotlight have shared beautiful images, but this one today is especially fun to post. I've know Mike since 7th grade, going back to a time when neither of us had any idea what we wanted to do when we grew up. Although,we did know we didn't want to grow up and according to Sheila, we still haven't!
We've kept in touch over the years, seeing each other at annual high school reunions and following each other's lives through social media. During all this time, even though I knew he was a great professional photographer, I never took the time to look at his work.
Recently he posted some images of his mother's 90th birthday. His mom and mine were friends and as we were growing up. Wandering through his Facebook images I got introduced to Mike all over again and loved his work. I gave him a call and these are some of my favorites from the images he sent. He also gave me a short bio.
Mike shared two of his favorite quotes by Minor White with me. They tell you so much about who he is as an artist.
“One should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are.”
“Photography is a language more universal than words.”
So gang, meet a good friend who goes back to the days when we both probably hoped we'd grow up to be cowboys.
My name is Mike Demeter. I am a Northeast Ohio based photographer. My involvement in photography dates back 40 years when I first saw an 8x10 black and white image come to life in a developing tray. Terms like: Kodachrome, Kodak Vericolor(VPS) , Agfa Portriga Rapid Paper, Acufine Developer, and Kodalith, were some of the tools of the times.
I took inspiration from the names: Weston, Stieglitz, Adams, Cunningham, Callahan, Frank, Strand, Caponigro, Lange, Steichen, and Minor White. The darkroom has evolved to my lightroom.
Photography has had numerous technology changes during my involvement. However, the artist behind the lens that breathes his/her unique style into image capture remains the constant.
For me, photography has become the conduit for my creativity.
Images copyright Mike Demeter. All Rights reserved.
Part of the fun of social media, together with great conventions, is the people you meet and the friendships. I met Justin Bassett online, although I don't remember in what forum. Then, we had a chance to catch up to each other face to face at ShutterFest last April.
He posted the two images below this morning and gave me credit for my Throwback Thursday post. It inspired him to take a look at some of his older images.
Justin, the truth is, you've got this amazing passion and you're giving me far more credit than I deserve. With every image you capture, every new skill you practice and additional time you spend working to be a great artist you get closer and closer to that goal. You have indeed come a long way, but what a kick for you to share your starting point with where you are today!
I've said it many times in the past - the best part of the industry has nothing to do with photography but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft! Thanks for allowing me to share your FB post here on the SCU blog.
by Justin Bassett
It's amazing looking back to see how far you've come from a certain point. The image on the left is a photo I took of a friend back in 2007, when I knew next to nothing about photographing people. I was just a guy with a camera that knew just enough to be dangerous...lol.
The image on the right, was taken a few weeks ago. Truth be told, until about a year and a half ago, pretty much all of my photos looked like the one on the left. I've definitely come far in that short amount of time, and yet I'm nowhere near where I want to be with my skill level. I see photos taken by people like Roberto Valenzuela, Sal Cincotta, Michael Anthony, Susan Stripling, Lindsay Adler, and a whole host of 'Heavy Hitters' in the Photographic Industry and that's where I want to be.
One can almost equate it to the Martial Arts -- you start off with no knowledge (White Belt) and gain all this knowledge and skill to attain the level of Black Belt, which is a good place to be; you're competent and can handle yourself well, yet despite all the knowledge and skill that you now possess, your journey toward mastery is only truly beginning.
I guess my point is, despite how far I've come, I still have a long way to go before I step up to that level....but I'm proud of where I am now in my photography skills. Thank You to all who have taken the time to work with me and teach me - I wouldn't be where I am without you.
Even though he's working hard to be the best artist he can be, the majority of you have never heard of Ulises Pedra. That's because Ulises, like at least fifty percent of the professional photographic industry is a part-time photographer. His day job is with the US Post Office and over the last few years, I catch up to him on just about every trip to my P.O. Box.
What I didn't realize until he showed me some images recently, was just how good his work is!
He's only been at the craft for a few years, but when you talk to him about anything related to photography, his passion couldn't be more obvious! There is no substitute for passion and hard work, but one key to Ulises building his skill set is a terrific relationship with his mentor and good friend, Max Kelly.
Having a mentor who can teach, coach and advise is an incredible asset. It definitely speeds up the learning process and after spending some time on Max's website, it's obvious Ulises is being supported by one of the best!
I picked a few of my personal favorites, but check out Ulises website and you'll see a lot more nice work. What a kick it's going to be following his career as an artist as he continues to grow and fine-tune his skill set!
Images copyright Ulises Pedra. All rights reserved.