Let me begin at the outset by saying I am NOT a professional photographer, even if I’ve had a few of my photos published. I’m also not a camera geek (after all I did bake my camera in the oven in Trinidad – see chapter 2) and I’m still working with my old Nikon 50 which serves me just fine, thank you.
I began with a small Zeiss camera that I took to Europe in 1958. When Alfred and I started to get serious about taking pictures, we bought Nikons, an assortment of lenses over the years, and that has been our equipment for all the 6700 plus photos you’ll find archived and posted on the University of Georgia Bugwood network (www.bugwood.org.) Why Georgia? Well because when I got on the internet one day to read up on converting 35mm slides to digital images, Joe LaForest of the School of Forestry’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health told me we really should talk on the phone. “It’s technical” said she who kicks something when it doesn’t work, “You call him, I told Alfred,” Joe subsequently said they’d love to take the entire collection, covert it to digital images, put it up on their website, and make it available to the public free of charge. We were thrilled as at the time we had over 30,000 natural history images and wondered what would happen to them when we kicked the bucket. Periodically I get a notice telling me who is using which image for which purpose!
I have spent the past ten years cleaning and cataloging each slide noting, as they required, Latin name, common name, location of shot and which of us was the photographer of each image. And the task is still not complete as I retained the slides from two of the public lectures I gave to photo clubs as well as garden clubs, women’s clubs, retirement homes etc. I enjoyed the lecture circuit and after he retired, Alfred went with me, running the equipment and chatting up the attendees. I did tell you he was a Viennese charmer! The Center wants to retain my National Parks of the World lecture and turn it into a Power Point program they can augment with images of invasive species. Antarctica, I’m holding back, because, well, it’s Antarctica and I’ll never get there again and stand at Sir Ernest Shakelton’s grave on South Georgia Island to salute “the Boss”- a title he held long before Bruce Springsteen!
So if you feel so inclined someday, wander over to www.Bugwood.org look us up under their long list of contributing photographers, and stroll through our photographic journeys.