David Stossel is a pre-visualizer. And that’s an awesome thing.
A photographer who pre-visualizes is one who tries to match the reality before the camera to a picture he or she previously imagined; the photograph is seen first in the mind’s eye, and that mental image guides the photographer in attempting its duplication before the lens.
Depending on the vividness of one’s imagination, pre-visualization can be easy or difficult. If it is nature photography that inhabits your imagination, as it is for David Stossel, pre-visualization will require patience.
David began making color slides in the eighties on backpacking trips, in order to record the magnificence of mountain views. The owner of a landscaping business, as a photographer David is mostly self-taught. When, ten years ago, digital quality began to catch up with that of film, David’s lessons became less expensive, more frequent and more productive. A vacation in Florida sparked an interest in the beauty of birds. That interest compelled David to take his photography skills to a whole new level.
Having finished behind David in more than a few competitions over the past two years, I can say that he arrived at that new level, and went beyond.
“I like to be able to capture something and hold it permanently,” David says, “something that is otherwise a temporary thing….The image that you get, because it’s real and has more detail, can be more beautiful than painting.”
The epitome of David’s pre-visualization approach is the landscape-with-wildlife.
“My favorite [is] to capture landscapes with great lighting in the morning or evening and maybe some wildlife in there.”
Another of his signature genres that, again, showcases his ability to compose a beautifully-lit scene and then add a fleeting, dramatic feature, are his lightning pictures.
“I love the excitement of trying to capture lightning and maybe some kind of interesting subject, such as the Washington Monument.”
David’s visual imagination has already laid out for him his next photographic challenge: the use of secondary lighting in nature photography to capture an image that lack of light ordinarily hides from our perception. He is putting together a lighting set-up to photograph fall leaves in the landscape…while they are falling.
As if it didn’t require enough patience to put a flock of birds or a bolt of lightning into an already perfect rendering of the landscape.
David Stossel comes up with great pictures. Then he photographs them with his camera.
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An archive of our illustrated Patch posts on club competitions and interviews with club members Bill Prosser, Tom Mangan, Ursy Potter and Margaret Huddy is at the McLean Photo Club's new Facebook page. Please "LIKE" us on Facebook to keep up with the interview series and announcements from the club.
Our holiday party was terrific. Thank you very much to our gracious hosts Ursy and Carter.
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The McLean Photo Club is in its fourth decade -- and we welcome new members. Or just come to the next club meeting as a guest, to see what the club’s about.
After the holidays, MPC will meet on Wednesday January 9 at 7:30 pm in the McLean Community Center. Tuan Pham will be the speaker. About Tuan: "Photography helps him see deeply without the camera and gives him great joy, particularly when photography and Zen touch to spark a serene inner setting and profound attunement to the present moment." For more about Tuan, click here.