|NPN Staff Profile - Lon Overacker|
|Earth, Sea & Sky Gallery Moderator|
I suspect that like many of you, my love for nature and the great outdoors began early on. I grew up at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. My family vacationed in a travel trailer all over the American west; visiting just about every national park west of the Mississippi river. I loved the mountains and the grandeur of nature. My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic and after a long vacation through Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and Glacier National Parks, my father asked me why I took so many pictures of the same thing – mountains. All I can remember is saying “because they’re pretty.” I’ve backpacked in Yosemite, the Eastern Sierra, Trinity Alps and Glacier National Park and always had a camera with me.
Two things helped shape my growth as a photographer. The first was joining a camera club. I learned about composition and the importance of creating technically sound images through competitions and judging. I learned to enjoy and share my passions with other like-minded people. The second and perhaps more profound event was a workshop and portfolio review with nature photographer Ron Sanford in the late 1980’s. He was impressed with my collection of 35mm slides, and commented to me that if I wanted to compete in the “world of pretty pictures,” I needed to set myself apart from the competition. And at that time, he said that 4x5 large format could give me that edge. Well, a couple years later I bought a used Bush Pressman and captured my first 4x5 image in 1993 and haven’t looked back.
I have been “on the web” since the early 1990’s. Back “in the day,” there were few online communities; blogs were called bulletin boards and the only nature related photography sites I knew were on Compuserve and the AOL Nature Forum. The AOL forum was much like what NPN is today in terms of being a community of folks who loved nature and photography, but on a much smaller scale. In 1995 I organized and led a group of 23 people who had never met in person before to Yosemite. It was like a High School reunion and it was an experience I will always treasure. I sense that same level of camaraderie and community today with NPN and I find it quite rewarding and enjoyable.
I designed and built my first web page on AOL in 1995. The web site has since gone through 4 revisions, most recently re-designed in 2008. I’ve done all my own html coding and traded some services to help with the database driven part of the website. Please visit my site at www.lonoveracker.com. I would love to hear from you.
Photography however, has not been my career. After finishing my degree at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA, I entered the corporate world and have remained with the same company for 26 years now. A rarity these days I suppose. Photography has supplemented my income over the years and I have been published in a number of magazines, mostly local and state publications. At one time I was represented by a Japanese stock agency and currently some of my images are represented on Myloupe.com which is now part of the The Stock Solution at tssphoto.com. My prints have won numerous awards at the Alameda County Fair, including a Best of Show.
I make my home in Livermore, California with my wife JoAnn, son Kyle and our dog Scout. Next to my family, photographing nature and the great outdoors is, and will always be my passion.
e-mail Lon Overacker