LightCentric Photography by Andy Richards

My Story

I have been making photographs for nearly 45 years. A retired Estate Planning and Business Attorney, photography has always been my passion. I shoot primarily outdoor, nature, and "travel" subjects. I use digital editing software liberally to enhance my photographic vision. These days, I take every opportunity I can to travel to other places to photograph.

Beginnings

In 1977, I attended a small, rural college in Vermont for a year. There, I was inspired by one of my favorite professors, John Knox. A talented and avid photographer John is also the owner of the Facebook Page, "Vermont by a Vermonter."

Armed with my dad's completely manual, Asahiflex 35 mm camera, a handheld light meter, and Kodachrome 25 film, I began my photographic journey. "Bitten" by the bug, I shortly purchased my first "modern" SLR Camera, a Canon TX, with a 50mm prime lens.

Moving On

In the early1980's  I was a staff photographer for my College Newspaper and College Yearbook. I "traded" the Canon for a Nikkormat body with a 50mm prime and two additional zoom lenses. That would begin my 30-year relationship with Nikon.

The best part of the college experience was the time I was able to spend in the darkroom. My darkroom experience was limited to B&W.  For years afterward, I dreamed of the day I would have my own color darkroom. Little did I know that when that day finally came around, my color darkroom would be my computer and my chemicals would be software!

New Beginnings

I attended Law School, in the mid-1980's, at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. I had a few nice photo ops there, but was mostly immersed in school, and trying to get my career started.

In the early 1990's, the spirit re-awakened, and it was time for something "new."  I bought my first "auto-everything" SLR - a Nikon N6006 - and began anew my self-study in photography,  using resource materials like the Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure,"  and books by Arthur Morris, Larry West, and Ansel Adams, as well as materials from the New York Institute of Photography. 

The Digital Age   

In the early 1990s, along with every other consumer and most serious photographers, I became aware of  digital media. Early DSLR bodies cost several thousand dollars. Finally, In early 2002, Nikon announced its first "prosumer" DSLR Body, the D100, at a consumer-affordable price.  By December, 2002, I was shooting with  the D100.  Two years later, I upgraded to the Nikon D200.  I subsequently "upgraded" my DSLR camera three more times: to a D700 "FX" ("full frame" sensor) body a Nikon D7000 "DX" (APS sensor) backup body, and finally to a Nikon D800e FX body.  Occasionally I used a Canon G12 Point & Shoot Camera.

The "Next Big Thing"; Mirrorless

Each time that I have "upgraded" to a new "system," I have had some misgivings. But after having done so, I haven't looked back. In that spirit, in 2012, I traded all my "backup" camera gear for a Sony NEX-6 "mirrorless" interchangeable lens camera. The Sony mirrorless camera grew on me quickly, and shortly, I was shooting with a Carl Zeiss prime lens.

In 2013, after a happy 30+ years as a dedicated Nikon shooter, I "liquidated" my entire Nikon inventory in favor of the world's first mirrorless "full-frame" camera, the Sony A7r.

In 2015, I bought a new Sony "point & shoot" camera; the RX100.  This little pocket camera makes some amazing images and is really a "pro" camera packaged in a very small box.  I like this little power-packed tool a lot.  So much that it has been my sole-carry camera on 2 out-of-country trips.  It is very freeing to carry a camera and a very small, light tripod for travel.

Today, I shoot with the A7ii for my "serious" shooting, but still frequently carry and use an RX100vi.

Yes, I "Photoshopped" it!

Photoshop has been in my software arsenal almost exclusively since early in its tenure, and I have read thousands of "how to" pages.  And I still have only scratched the surface on what can be done with post-processing software. There are, of course, alternatives to Photoshop, all of them pretty good. But for the moment, Photoshop continues to be the industry standard - and I am comfortable with it. I use Photoshop CC as my “workhorse” photo editor. I occasionally use other post-processing software - primarily in the form of "plugins" to Photoshop, but the Adobe built-in capability just gets better and better.

Most of my first 35 years of shooting was devoted to "natural" subjects; primarily landscapes and animals. However, Ihave more recently tried to foster a more creative approach, taking a turn back to B&W imagery, all through digital, post processing and experimenting with the "art" side of photography, using "painting" and "sketching" and combinations of these and B&W and color to make images.  It is fascinating. I look forward to continuing to learn about digital imagery through study, practice in the field, and work in the digital darkroom.

My photographic inspirations - in addition to John Knox, include photographic writer, Bryan Petersen, from whom I have learned so much without ever meeting him; Ray Laskowitz, who has given me sage advice; James Moore, a friend and mentor and skilled teacher and photographer in his own right, and the late, Arnold John Kaplan, who at 97 plus before his death, was still going strong, writing and shooting and inspiring me to live and photograph! The LightCentric Galleries include exemplars of all facets of my photographic work. I hope you will spend some time here, and enjoy.

If you are interested in an even longer, more detailed version of my story, go to my LightCentricPhotography Blog's "My Story" Page