Paula J. Hepner

My interest in photography began when my aunt from Philadelphia visited us. She would bring along the newest piece of camera equipment she had purchased and would eagerly explain what each item could do. While the rest of our family was taking snapshots with Kodak Brownies, she was sporting two 35mm cameras, a Polaroid land camera and a Super 8 movie camera and projector. When I was named Photography Editor for my high school yearbook, my aunt loaned me her Argus C3 and taught me how to use it. This is how my life-long journey with photography began. My roommate's father went with me to Willoughby's on 33rd Street in Manhattan to select the best 35mm camera I could afford. It was through him I learned about Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Bernice Abbott and Eliot Porter, each of whom mentored me though they never knew it.

After a successful career as a lawyer and then as a Judge of the NYS Family Court, retirement has allowed me the chance to rediscover the joy of communicating through photography. Returning after a hiatus of nearly 30 years, gone were the rolls of film in metal canisters and the darkroom's amber safelights. Working now with digital files, instead of being concerned about the right proportions for mixing solutions of developer and fixer, each available pixel in my images must be analyzed and software programs for editing and finishing my photos must be utilized instead. Like my mentors, my subjects are the natural world, architecture, still life, portraits and landscapes. Light is the magic element in every photograph. Light defines every image by giving it texture, contrast, mood, color, character, depth and space.

 

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