BRATTLEBORO -- Bill Steele got into photography while serving in the Navy in the 1970s. Life got pretty hectic after leaving the service and he didn't have much time to pursue the hobby.
That all changed 18 years ago, however, when he moved to Vermont and fell in love with the beauty of the Green Mountain State and the tranquility one can capture through a lens. Now, he wants to enable people just like him to learn more about the artistic craft by offering free photography workshops to the public.
The workshops will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Green Mountain Chapel (480 Western Ave.) on the fourth Tuesday of every month. There is no cost associated with joining and all participants will meet downstairs in the chapel's Fellowship Hall.
"I'm just trying to get people together who are interested in taking pictures," he told the Reformer. "They can talk and learn about photography with whatever equipment they may have."
Steele, who identifies himself as "an avid amateur and professional photographer," said great shots can be taken with any simple point-and-click camera and he will provide some studio equipment when needed. He said novices and seasoned veterans are equally welcome, as the workshops are simply meant to allow people the opportunity to help one another.
The workshops are intended to be casual and help people learn to improve their photography skills. Steele said he had been thinking about the workshops for a while but it materialized only recently.
According to a brochure, Steele will utilize a video course entitled "Fundamentals of Photography," which is taught by Joel Santore, a regular contributor to National Geographic. The course consists of two dozen 30-minute lectures, after which will be a chance for discussion about the content. Steele also said there will be opportunities to take photo walks and day trips to snap pictures of the Vermont scenery and all participants will be encouraged to share their work with one another to help reach their full potential.
The art of photography, Steele said, is more than just clicking a button. There is a technical side that involves computers, printers and software programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Steele also believes there is a scientific aspect with the properties of light, dimension and color and an artistic side associated with photography's various genres, from architectural to portrait to sports.
"It's a chance to get together and have fun," he said, adding that he is aiming for a "club-type of atmosphere."
For more information, call 802-451-6616 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.