Just for the record, Bill Stritzinger of Dallas has used a digital camera and expects to do so more often in the future.
But for now, as long as companies are still producing film, he prefers his 20-year-old 4-by-5 viewcamera, a large-format piece of equipment that gives him greater control over the photos he shoots — allowing him to shift and tilt the front and back of the camera to get the depth of field he wants.
Stritzinger, 51, enjoys the old-fashioned process — carrying his heavy camera and lenses in a backpack, developing film himself and printing the images in a dark room. “Actually it’s a shed I insulated,” he said. “I have an air-conditioner and heating so I can work all year round.”
A collection of his labors of love, titled “Endeavors,” is on display at Mainstreet Galleries in Kingston this month, and if you stop by you’ll notice Stritzinger’s appreciation for nature.
“Hemlock Temple,” a photo of tall trees in which the bark just seems to leap out at the viewer, was an image he captured in one of his favorite spots to visit, Ricketts Glen State Park.
“It was late in the afternoon, and I used a long exposure,” he said.
Other places he has enjoyed photographing include Bodie State Park in California, which contains the remnants of a mining town; the deserts of the Southwest and the rocky coast of New England.
He shot a photo he calls “Thrust” when he was standing about 100 yards from the ocean in Maine, pointing his camera downward at a rocky formation.
“I’m abstract, in a way,” he said, pointing out that his tendency to have the camera “looking down instead of up” gives a different perspective.
A great admirer of Ansel Adams, Stritzinger is grateful he has had opportunities to attend workshops hosted by John Sexton, an award-winning photographer based in California who was himself a student of the famous photographer.
“I still talk to (Sexton) a lot. He taught me how to print,” Stritzinger said.
Stritzinger also has studied photography at Luzerne County Community College and Marywood University, and he works as a building manager “to earn money to support my photography.”