John Waaser was the perfect person to write this book. As a student, both at Mount Hermon School for Boys and at Northeastern University, where he studied Mechanical Engineering, he was elected Vice-President of the camera club for two years running, four years total, where his principal duties consisted of coming up with the topic for each meeting, and securing the educational material for that topic from top companies such as Eastman Kodak and Ansco. It also fell to him to find someone to proctor the discussion, which about half of the time, he did himself. He later became a freelance photojournalist, and for two decades, he principally photographed motorcycle races, and other motorsports-related activities, including an occasional road test and other features. As a journalist, he showed an ability to take a highly technical subject and break it down so that ordinary people without a technical background could understand it. He took any number of portraits of up-and-coming racers as well. He did a few portfolios for models, and he photographed a few weddings. He spent about a year as assistant editor of a biweekly tabloid newspaper, where he wrote copy, took photos, set advertising, and laid out the pages. He owned Adpho Graphics, a photo studio and advertising agency, in the early 1970s. His personal hobby has long been night-time available light photography outdoors, where he frequently hand-held exposures of up to 30 seconds. He had his own photo lab at one point, where he processed film and prints including both black-and-white, and color negatives, and color transparencies (slides) as well. He constructed a film dryer and an enlarger stand with variable height easel shelf, and published articles and photos of their construction in “Popular Photography” Magazine. For several years, he was listed on the masthead of “Cycle World” Magazine as their Eastern US Contributing Editor. He has owned a computer store, and has owned digital cameras since they had VGA resolution or less. He now owns an Olympus E-PL1 camera with two lenses, and carries several phones and/or tablets at all times. He also taught an adult education second-year photography course at a local community college for two semesters, while one of their regular professors was on a sabbatical.
John felt that it was more important to teach people how to take GOOD pictures, before teaching them the technical intricacies of photography. He lists several examples of photos he sold that were terrible from a technical standpoint, but were superbly composed, or grabbed in a hurry and very flawed as a result, but caught a moment in time that was important. So this book talks about subject placement, background, foreground, color, separation from the background, and other topics which are important to ensure that the photo simply looks good.
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About the Author
John Waaser is the editor in chief, the guy who makes our stuff look so good, and the owner of Crossroads Publishing. (He is open to editing work for other writers, but he is not cheap!) Educated at Mount Hermon School for Boys and Motheaten University, he is the brains around here. He has owned a computer store and several other businesses, and he currently lives in a crappy double-wide mobile home on a little over three acres, down south, where he moved after he got scared driving 18-wheelers and two-wheelers over snow and ice for too many years. But hey, at least it is paid for! He currently drives an Isuzu Hombre pickup truck, and has a Dodge Stratus, which he insists is the best car he ever owned, with a Datsun 1100 Sport Coupe and an MGA Twin Cam Roadster also dear to his heart though no longer in his possession. He has a Ninja 250, he still has a 1974 Ducati 750 Sport that he bought new, with 2200 original miles on it, but life in storage has not been good to that bike. His collection also includes an old Honda CB-77 Super Hawk, and a Yamaha RD350C that has been converted to a cafe racer, with Factory (brand) pipes.That bike will lift the front wheel while you are still heeled over in a turn, if you get on the gas in second gear. Riding on one side of one tire can be exhilarating! He had a professional color photographic lab in his home, where he turned out up to 400 8 x 10 color prints in a single week, back in the day. He currently has a pretty good collection of old film cameras (including a black Nikon F, brand new in the box, (but the dealer sold the Photomic finder off of it, and substituted a Pentaprism finder instead), but uses his HTC desire 816 and his Windows phone and his 4G LTE Galaxy Tab S 8.4" tablet along with an Olympus E-PL1 camera with two lenses. His computers include an H-P Elite Book 2560P which came from Joy systems as a refurb, and he has a Dual-Xeon Server. He is currently getting together a bank of images for stock photo sales. He has Siamese cats, the male named King, and the female named Anna. He used to have a Shep/Black Lab cross named Blackie, whom he loved a lot, back in the day, and would consider another lab or lab mix if one came along. He has several sheds full of memorabilia, though most of his old negatives are all gone, along with the collection he once had of all of his published work including as Assistant Editor of Cycle New East, and Eastern US Contributing Editor of "Cycle World" Magazine when it was owned by a division of CBS, Inc. He is working on getting some solar energy going, and currently uses a generator for most of his electricity.He has close to 50 blueberry plants and some raised beds for veggies. He gets his green thumb from his Uncle Gordon, who was the President of the American Dahlia Society back in 1940. He is working on the first part of a series of books to comprise a photography course, and will do some books over time on gardening, alternative energy, and other how-to subjects.