Denali - "The Great One"

I was hit hard with the photography bug just before my 14th birthday in my freshman year of high school back in rural southern Michigan. That was over 50 years ago when one had to rely on reading books and magazines and general experimentation to perfect your skills. There was no Internet with which to educate oneself. (That’s right youngsters, no Internet, no smart phones, no personal computers, no digital cameras. How did we ever survive you wonder? Ask your parents or grandparents.)

My first ‘real’ camera was a Minolta SRT-101 35mm single lens reflex with a 50mm f/2.8 lens and a 2x extender. I can’t tell you how much film I wasted getting things right. As my experience grew I added more lenses, lights, electronic flashes, tripods, a “large format” Mamiya C330 twin lens reflex camera and even had a darkroom for developing film and making prints.

Eventually, with great enthusiasm and support from my father and a few teachers, I persisted enough to be making money in my own business by time I graduated from high school. By graduation I had photographed three high school yearbooks (all photos except for the formal student and teacher portraits), five weddings, some formal prom pictures of close friends and their dates (took quite a bit of business from the ‘professional’ on site) and thousands of shots of things that interested me.

Then life caught up with me. I wanted to get my undergraduate degree in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. It was just a dream, though, as neither my income and savings nor that of my father could handle the expense of a private university several states away. I opted instead to attend the University of Michigan, just twelve miles from home. After a year at the university I joined the U.S. Air Force and became an instructor in their pharmacy technician school. My photography turned back into a hobby as career and many other responsibilities of adulthood caught up with me. I eventually changed degree programs to accounting, graduated, and became a CPA.

I moved to Alaska in 1983 after my first visit the year before. Got married, worked as a CPA specializing in federal income tax, left that, became a small business consultant and controller in several businesses. I am now retired and enjoying my photography hobby even more.

My passion for photography never faded. All these years later I still carry a camera with me just about all the time. If you count my iPhone, I carry one with me all the time. It’s still a hobby today and combined with my passion for the great outdoors and love of camping, I’ve turned to scenery and critters as my main topics of photographic interest.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the photos. Please feel free to share the website with your family and friends and to post a comment on any of your favorites photos.

Be well,

David Stoodley

David in Denali National Park
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