Dolores Hopkins

Hometown  Chattanooga, TN , Hialeah, FL

Day job  Registered Nurse Case Manager for a large health insurance company

Camera  Canon Rebel E0S T3

Adventure is learning new things about myself and surroundings.

Photography is my passion. Don’t want to be a professional photographer, but I would like to grow it as a hobby. I love doing it.

When did photography spark in you?

Um, it actually started for me when I was a little girl, I was really young and loved my moms camera.  A brownie camera, like a box. With the little square flash cubes. That’s what I used to take pictures until I bought my own back in the film days. I like taking pictures of things. My mom used to ask “Why did you take a picture of the rock, bridge, church, etc, if you didn’t put someone in it."  As if it’s not a picture unless someone’s in it. Hah! That is one of the earliest things I remember her getting onto me about, never putting a person in the picture. I guess I like to take pictures of things where I don’t have to say “Stop blinking. Stop twitching."

How did you hear about Light Finds? 

My friend Kim from Chattanooga has attended three of Paul's Smokies Workshops, and she told me about it.

What initially interested you about the workshop you attended? 

All of my cameras were point and shoot. I wanted to start taking better pictures. So I got a new DSLR camera, but I kept shooting on Auto for a year, which meant all I really had was a very expensive point and shoot! I did not shoot on Aperture Priority until the workshop, and now I take pictures all the time and never go back to Auto.

I loved the workshop. I really did.

Tell me a little about Paul as an instructor?

I thought he was probably the best instructor I had ever had.  I was impressed with his patience and his ability to make every person feel individual.  He took time to learn how each person learns and how to speak it the way they could understand it.  And he makes sure that he covers everybody when we are all scattered. 

What is your next adventure? 

Well, I finally bought a tripod. Can you believe it! I gave my old point and shoot camera to my grandson, and we went downtown and took pictures of the architecture, the shapes, and sculptures at the art museum.

Futurewise, one of my goals is to shoot barns. My favorite subjects are barns, churches and bridges. It may be a plain barn, or not particularly attractive, but the way the sunsets can produce this spread of light throughout the barn is gorgeous. Now that I know more about light and how to use light, I want to catch barns at different times of the day. I’ve started taking my camera with me when I go places.

I hope to make a coffee table book of all barns.  One of the things I've found myself doing from something Paul taught is when I go back and look at old pictures, you can see the shadow of the person taking the picture, because they always stand with their back to the sun and make others look into the sun. In all the pictures someone is squinting. Haha. When I see that, I want to say “We should have done it the other way!"

If time, money, and travel were not an obstacle, where would you travel to photograph and what would you do? 

My true dream is to actually be able to live in London and be there long enough to become part of the community there.

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