March Crafter of The Month - Roger Degler
Our March crafter is wonderfully talented. Anyone who can catch lightening has to be talented. Roger’s interest in photography started back when he was but a child. His dad had a Rolleiflex camera and with the mindset of an engineer, he found that camera fascinating. As with any child he wanted to know how it work and that was the beginning of a 45 year infatuation with photography. He bought his first ‘serious’ camera after he got married, a Fujica ST-701 with all the extra lenses, extension tubes filters and other accessories. At that time, there was a lag from the time you took your photos to their development, this and the costs involved slowed Roger’s development. His interest waned and he found himself taking family photos, vacation photos and general interest pictures. He doesn’t regret taking the time to take those pictures, as with all photos, they are memories frozen in time When digital cameras first came on the market, they were too expensive and the photos taken were low quality, Roger stuck to the tried and true standard film camera. In 2007, Roger was doing an hour commute from Florence to Mesa. During this drive, he drove through wide open spaces and in the morning, he could see the sun rise over the mountains to the East and in the afternoon the beautiful sunsets that you just could not see in town. He was hooked again. Pricing and technology had finally caught up with Roger’s desire to capture God’s beautiful artwork as he did his nightly light show over the west. Roger ordered his first digital camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5 with the fabulous range of 6 mega pixels and 6X optical zoom. Fabulous!! This new road of travel down photography lane started by simply pulling over on the side of the road as he commuted and taking photos out of his car window. He was able to go home and down load these new photos onto his computer and edit immediately. No more going to the store to buy film, then shoot, then back to the store to develop and hope you got the shot, home to look at them. His learning curve was much faster on the digital camera and so each day motivated by the results of the previous day, he would stop and take more photos. The limitations of this first camera were quickly learned and he bought a FujiFilm point and shoot camera that had the new features of a viewfind and more optical zoom he needed. In 2008 he noticed that Circuit City had a monthly photo contest, he liked his photos so much, he felt he needed to enter a picture. One month the theme was Sunrises and Sunsets, perfect, exactly what Roger was taking photos of. He sorted through the thousands of pictures he’d taken and submitted his entry … It won First Prize, National Grand Prize winner!! The prize … a Canon DSLR camera. After that, his obsession exploded, it was no long a pull over the side of the road kind of thing, it became a nightly expedition into the desert to find shooting locations. Not long after that Roger began to sell his photos at art shows, he has won more competition and collected many ribbons from the Arizona State Fair. In June and July 2014 he was the featured artist at the Boyce Thomspons Arboretum. He has taught photography classes, which he enjoys. He does like to give some of his pictures as gifts and hangs many in his home, but if you get the urge, email him to see where and when he will be at an art show. His email address is here: Roger.AzSunsets@gmail.com . Roger does not pursue any other art forms, he is very happy with what he is currently doing. He keeps motivated by taking lots of photos and experiments with the settings on his camera to learn what his camera can or cannot do, all this practicing helps him to improve and the improvement keeps him motivated. As you can tell, Roger is all self-taught, he has been reading and studying photography for 45 years and he has a fairly solid understanding of the technical side of cameras and photography. This does not stop him from working to improve his skills and his artistic eye. Feel Free to go to Roger's Facebook page, you can find it here: www.Facebook.com/ArizonaSunsets . I have personally seen his pictures and they are stunning!! Remember it is easy to purchase a piece of Roger's work, just facebook message him or email him the picture you are interested in.
Here are a few other ways to check out Roger's work: