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About Joseph West

The photographs on this web site were taken by Joseph West. Joseph has nearly a half a century of amateur experience with photography. He has a natural artistic talent that he developed through junior and senior high school. When he was considering a career in architecture, his dad suggested that he spend a day with a local architect to see what it might be like. Joseph quickly realized that while he had the artistic talent, there were other skills required of an architect that he did not possess. From that day forward, his formal artistic training ended.

Joseph started taking pictures as a Boy Scout. With his trusty black and white Brownie camera, he recorded events with his youthful friends. He eventually, started taking color photos. Since, color was more expensive, he does not have nearly as many color photographs.

During the summer between Joseph's junior and senior year in high school, he spend a some time in some informal training. Previously, his father had experimented with photography, but was no longer interested. As a result Joseph had access to some nice equipment and a lot of expired, black and white film. Using a 3 by 5 inch Graflex camera, he started taking pictures of his 75 year old high school and an abandoned brick factory.He experimented with filters. He also developed the negatives himself. This experience cemented his understanding, appreciation and awareness of the lights and darks that make a great photograph, regardless of the color in the scene.

While spending some time in Brazil, he continued to take pictures. He had purchased a camera that was both "point and shoot" with the ability to override. He really liked this camera. However, after six months, his camera was stolen. As a result he did not get as many photographs as he wanted. However, he was able to focus much more attention on his work. He still had an intense desire to take some photographs. So on one occasion he built a pin hole camera, which worked, much to his surprise.

Shortly after Joseph was married he was able to purchase a used camera just like he had on his mission. Over the next 30 years he has taken many photographs of his family and their activities. With nine children, the activities were pretty cheap. Most of the pictures were of every day events. He eventually purchased a smaller camera that allowed him to take it nearly everywhere.

While raising his children, Joseph discovered an incredible side benefit of taking pictures. One day, a daughter was pouting as children can do. She was making life difficult for her parents who had eight other children to deal with. She simply could not be reasoned with. It is not in Joseph's nature to get angry, but he was there. He was frustrated because she was too big to spank or drag. In frustration, he took his camera an snapped a picture of her on the bench and with her head between her knees. To diffuse his anger, he said to her, "Someday I am going to show your fiancÚ this picture and then you will be sorry." He felt so good that he started to do this anytime a kid really acted up. It did not take very long until he could stop misbehaving just by unclicking the camera case. You see, one of our Christmas traditions was to review all of the slides from the previous year. When a picture of a child with a scowl on their face flashed on the screen, the rest of us of would hoot and roll on the floor with laughter. They soon learned. And yes, 10 years later when his daughter brought her fiancÚ for a visit, there was a slide show. His daughter turned to him and said, "You really meant it, didn't you." He just smiled. And he smiles every time he see that picture.

Most of the pictures on this web site were taken while he was doing some work for the local chamber of commerce web site.