Three Photographers

Photography is an art form that helps to preserve beautiful memories. Karen Ferguson, Jackson Coppley and Guy Abernathey have some thoughts to share with would-be photographers.  

Ferguson spent 40 years as a teacher in Baltimore County (MD), a profession that provided time to pursue photography as she often traveled through Europe during the summer. She used a Minolta camera with several lenses but now relies on her IPhone 14 Max. “I made the switch due to the camera quality,” she says. “It’s so lightweight and portable,”   

She displays her work in her home and not through commercial channels. However, she is an active member of the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild, and she recently displayed a photo of snow geese in flight at the Guild’s monthly “Art in the AM” program. Her photo was accompanied by a reading from a fellow Guild member who was inspired by the image.  

“About six years ago, a member invited me to “Art in the AM”, a Writers Guild monthly event. I was hooked! Such a stimulating morning with writers, artwork, and music.” she added.  

She does not belong to the Coastal Camera Club but often goes on photography expeditions with a friend who shares her interest in capturing nature.   

Guild member Jackson Coppley displayed one of his photos on the same day as Ferguson. He is a writer with five published novels. He sees photography as a form of expression. “It’s natural that I joined the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild,” he said. I saw the photos exhibited in “Art in the AM” and knew I had some shots that would spark a writer’s imagination.”  

His interest in photography started early. He got a Boy Scout merit badge in it, an achievement that he shares with famed movie director Steven Spielberg. “When I was in my twenties, I got a Konica SLR, a couple of lenses, and took a lot of photos,” he said. “Around the corner from the first house I owned was a rental darkroom, and I spent my spare time there”.  

He exhibits his work, one piece at a time, almost every day on social media.  

Guy Abernathey views photography as a way to relax from his full-time realtor’s hectic schedule and to help him achieve a better work/life balance. A few years ago, he started what he calls “walkabouts”.  “Each day for about 15 to 45 minutes I go for a walk to get some fresh air, see new scenery, and explore wherever I might be on that particular day,” he said.  When I started taking them, I noticed things that interested me that I really wanted to capture.  

So, he began to carry a camera and use it to really ‘see’ the places where he had lived and traveled. Some of his favorites are the Blue Heron, sunsets and sunrises over water, landscapes and “the beauty of a full-on snowstorm”.   

Abernathey sells his work via his web site dubbed Chillaxing and exhibits in his native state of North Dakota and in Delaware.  

What advice do these three amateur photographers have for others?  

Ferguson says the DelMarVa coast is rich with photo opportunities. Just capture nature everywhere you turn, she advises. She also suggests a course or camera club membership as a good start. Years ago, she took a photography course at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University. 

Coppley recommends subscribing to Photo magazine and “shoot a lot”. He took photography lessons in his twenties and subscribed to photo magazines.  

Abernathey says: “Don’t worry about the technical aspect. Shoot what you see and feel. If you can capture a feeling of what you see, and others feel it by looking at your photo, then you have communicated with them”.  

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