EDITOR’S NOTE: Our November Focus on Photographers article features the work of Terry Johnson. His interest in photography began years ago as a student while attending classes at Hibbing Community College. Retirement has offered him the opportunity to spend more time on his photography, with his main subject matter being scenes in nature – Kirsten Reichel, HTF Staff Writer
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family – where did you grow up, where do you call home, what is your family life like?
I grew up in Hibbing and have lived around various places on the Iron Range most of my entire life. We have lived on Crooked Lake north of Bovey for the past 20-plus years. I have been retired for a little over two years now, and we absolutely love it here on the lake.
How many years have you been into photography and how did you get into it?
I was initially bitten by the photography bug 30 years ago when I took the photo/lab classes at Hibbing Community College. When film photography started to fade away, so did my time spent taking pictures, but once I finally made the transition to digital, it really picked up again for me.
Is this your career or is it a passion or hobby while you work another job?
This has become a serious passion for me ever since retirement, now that I have more time and freedom to focus on my creative side.
What inspires you to go out and shoot?
I love the challenge of capturing, in a photographic image, something interesting and beautiful of whatever subject or scene that may happen to catch my eye.
Which photographers influence you?
There are so many wonderful photographers that have influenced me, whether they are famous professionals or some of the very talented locals, there’s always inspiration to be found.
I have to thank the college photography professor at HCC, Al Higgins, for really instilling the love of photography in me.
What is your favorite type of photography?
Most recently, it has generally been wildlife photography.
What type of photographer do you consider yourself to be?
An outdoor photographer, most generally.
Do you prefer color or black-andwhite?
I first learned about photography by taking a black-and-white (film) class along with the darkroom lab at the local college, and that experience has been absolutely invaluable to me, whether I’m shooting for color or blackand white along with the editing process.
Do you prefer indoors or outdoors?
Mainly outdoors because there is so much beauty in the natural world, and I prefer the natural light.
What is your favorite season to take photos?
Spring has become a favorite season for me because everything is springing to life and it’s a great time to capture wildlife.
What is your go-to lens?
I’ve used my Tamron 150-600mm zoom almost exclusively since purchasing it a little over a year ago.
How much time do you put in each week?
As much as I can, but that can vary quite a bit.
Do you keep up with the latest technology and trends?
I try as much as I can through publications and online.
How do you educate and improve yourself?
Trial and error and follow advice from the pros.
What’s the most rewarding part of photography?
Sharing my photos with people who enjoy and have an appreciation of them.
What is your favorite photo or shoot in your portfolio?
We had driven up the Northshore to Silver Bay on the day of our 25th anniversary. I hadn’t taken an after-dark photo in a long, long time, but the moonrise at Black Beach presented a great opportunity. Needless to say, the image has a very special meaning to us.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you started?
What advice would you give new photographers?
Don’t be discouraged, learn all that you can, keep shooting, learn about post-processing and editing your photos, and then, before you know it, the magic will start to happen.
What are your plans/hopes for the future?
I will keep shooting and learning and continue my quest for those perfect images and hopefully get published someday.
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