Our PBAA featured artist for January is Laurie Calef, someone who loves to produce realistic landscape, wild flower and macro photography.
Though born in Massachusetts, Laurie considers herself “a west coaster,” as she moved with her family to Red Bluﬀ, California when only about three. In fact, she still considers Red Bluﬀ her home town, though she has also lived in Tracy, California while attending San Joaquin Delta College.
It was while attending college that Laurie first learned photography, including black-and-white photo processing. Laurie adds, “I’ve been interested in photography ever since, but lacked the time to devote to it.”
That was partly because Laurie decided to become a science major at Butte College in Oroville, then continue her studies at California State University, Chico.
Later, after moving to Brookings in 1992, Laurie worked for the Brookings-Harbor School District as a teachers aid for physically and mentally disabled programs. After that came a variety of other full-time jobs and, later, a return to the school system as a custodian. She retired in 2014. Finally, Laurie had time for photography.
After receiving a used digital camera—and some experimenting—Laurie realized she needed help to improve her photography and to develop a more artistic approach. So, one Friday, she attended a Chetco Photography Association (CPA) meeting at Manley.
Laurie explains, “I had limited photography skills and almost no experience in digital photography processing. CPA members helped me learn the art of photography, as well as digital processing. Each meeting we got a photo challenge and a composition challenge. These nudged me out of my comfort zone. It’s been a great learning experience.”
Also, for Laurie, getting out in nature and setting up the shot is just part of what she enjoys. She adds, “Once back home, processing begins. I prefer to edit in a realistic, lifelike manner that displays the beauty of the world around us. And it’s why I look forward to adding more to my photographic bag of tricks, thanks to members of CPA.”