It was in Mr. Chuney's high school class back in 1996 that I fell in love with photography. The humorous, eccentric instructor was loved by his students and that included me. This was the age of silver photography and I was instantly taken with the enter process of capturing images on film, developing it in a sulfuric bath and printing those images on precious photography paper. After my first semester of the class, I spent my Christmas break checking out every book on the subject from the Newburgh Free Library. When I returned in January to school I was bubbling with new ideas and techniques for combining effects and filters. Mr. Chuney seemed impressed, but also like he'd seen this type of enthusiasm before. He asked me one thing.
"What makes the image?"
Pouring through the information I had just learned about effects and new photography gear, I searched my head for the answer. Struggling, Mr. Chuney interjected.
I instantly knew what he meant. Mr. Chuney was teaching me that all the bells and whistles didn't really matter that much. What mattered was my creative concept, and I should start there first. Amazing. Over the next 25 years, the craft of photography has evolved with the heavy injection of technology, and democratization of the smartphone camera. However, that truth Mr. Chuney shared way back then still rings true. The artist composing an intriguing image matters most. The bells and whistles are always secondary. Bravo Mr. Chuney. Bravo.