You've got to start somewhere and sometime.
That's a possible motto for relative photography newcomer Angelina Reese, 53. She's taken to snapping Sequim's scenes from a fresh set of eyes while receiving high praise from exhibits and increasing orders of her online prints.
Reese first picked up a camera 1½ years ago using her point-and-shoot basic camera and experimented with settings and angles. When asked why she started the hobby so late, Reese said, “Why not?”
“I always hung around artists even though I could never paint or draw,” she said. “They are my crowd, my tribe.”
Her interest piqued, so she bought a digital Nikon D80 second-hand from mentor Bob Cooper, longtime photograph historian at the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley.
“He's my hero,” Reese said.
She's taken to Cooper's and others' advice about photography and has captured images such as “Into the Silence.”
“I'm a sponge and I soak it up,” she said of people's recommendations.
For “Into the Silence,” Reese went on a photo shoot during the January snowstorm up Happy Valley looking for nice snowy scenery.
“It was silent until I head a noise and turned and saw a crow fly by,” she said.
Snap went her photo and was it was featured in the Dungeness River Center's Art in the Park. Her work also is on display in the Sequim Arts Summer Showcase, 163 W. Washington St.
“I try to have a camera in my backpack all the time,” she said. “When an opportunity arrives I take it.”
Another opportunity arose with Sequim's iconic granary.
“I was pumping gas and the sun had just dropped below the clouds. It was a beautiful, warm light. I just had to go across the street and snap photos,” she said. “The granary was just glowing.”
Originally from Colorado Springs, Colo., Reese moved to town in February 2005 sight unseen.
“A friend of mine had a sister out here and I moved here on a whim,” she said.
Since then she's become an active volunteer for the MAC archiving and restoring photos, 10-plus hours a week scanning photos, restoring them and polishing them for exhibits.
One of her favorites on display is of a girl in a dress with a ribbon holding a string going to a toy ship.
“There's just so many wonderful photos there,” she said.
Reese's newest task has been to scan photos for the city's upcoming Centennial celebration.
For aspiring amateur photographers like herself, Reese encourages people to learn their camera whatever way they can.
“Even if you have a point-and-shoot, learn everything you can about it,” she said.
“Keep your manual with you and try new things. That's the wonderful thing about digital. You can delete if it's terrible.”
Reese said one key piece of advice she's learned from DJ Bassett, executive director of the MAC, is that “it's the person behind the camera, not the camera.”
As she learns more and snaps more photos, Reese intends to continue being a part of Sequim Arts, showing locally and possibly expanding her horizons.
“I'll let it take me where it wants to go,” she said. “I love being an artist. It's taken me a year and a half to say that I'm an artist.
For more on Angelina Reese, find her online at Facebook by searching “Angelina.Reese.Fine.Art.Photographer,” at www.fineartamerica.com, and through her photo blog www.penflot.wordpress.com.