Mariposa Photo Club Member Spotlight

Please join us in celebrating the amazing individuals at the heart of Mariposa Photo Club.  Learn more about what inspires us as photographers as you get to know our diverse members.

This month meet John Little.     Let’s learn more about John.

How long have you been a photographer?

In the seventies I had a cheap camera called an Instamatic. I used it mostly to document a big building project, along with a little bit of landscapes and family photos. Then I got an Olympus OM-1 or OM-2. But I decided to stop shooting in nature, partly because it influenced too much my experience of being present in the outdoors—as in “Will this make a good shot?” in contrast to “Be here now”.  In 2003, as digital cameras became available, I got a point-and-shoot and started again. The conflict that bothered me before hasn’t been a problem. Who knows, maybe I can switch my attention better now.

What subjects inspire you?

I enjoy landscapes and seeing patterns in nature. There’s no shortage of either around Mariposa or Tucson! Examples of patterns are water-flow and wave patterns, and other patterns I see in nature. One favorite water pattern is laminar flow, which I’ve often seen in the Tuolumne River at Tuolumne Meadows.

I’m not an up-for-the-sunrise guy, and a lot of my images are taken during day hikes, so there aren’t too many golden-hour sunset shots, since hiking back in the dark isn’t fun. I’m not sure if I can get to remote backcountry spots anymore for those one-of-a-kind golden-hour chances.

Examples of my photography are at https://www.flickr.com/photos/22493175@N02/

What camera(s) do you use? Besides your camera, what is your favorite photography tool and why?

I’m using a Nikon D7200, usually with an 18-200 mm zoom lens, not the best glass but one that meets most of my needs. Also I use an Olympus TG-4, which is waterproof and great for close-ups of flowers. It also does focus-stacking in camera, if one’s not too fussy.

I sometimes use a tripod or a mini-tripod  (like Manfrotto ones). One use is for time-lapse photography with my phone. I’ve used the Lapse-It app to do time lapses, like high-speed yardwork and Yosemite sunsets. Tripods also help with focus-stacking.

Who or what has influenced your photography the most?

I’m not really aware of influences as such.

Is there an element in art or photography that you enjoy working with the most? 

Being in nature is such a privilege, and I aspire to convey that experience to others.

What’s your favorite part of the process?

I most enjoy rambling around in nature, on or off a trail, and just seeing what catches my eye. This can be patterns, or great light, or interesting geology or botany, or the unexpected.  Hiking with others is great, and yet it can conflict with moseying around, so I often go by myself.

Post-processing is also fun and rewarding, especially as I gain new skills and the software continues to improve. It helped me weather the pandemic, when I could comb through the archives and turn old loser images into worthy prospects.

Here’s a selection of John’s photographs:

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