Frank started participating in Simsbury Camera Club ancillary activities around 2014. He attended a presentation by Nathan Gutman at the Simsbury Library, and pointed out an easier way to accomplish a particular function. Nathan then promptly recruited Frank to give a number of presentations at the Library, and he was a partner with Nathan in planning and leading multi-session workshops at the Library on Photoshop and other topics. [See Nathan’s member recognition article.] When asked what made him decide to join SCC, Frank responded “I didn’t; I got dragged in by Nathan!” But that didn’t stop Frank from full and enthusiastic participation in a whole range of club activities, as you will see further below.
His first camera was an Olympus OM10, followed by an OM1. From time to time Frank still uses the 50mm Zuiko lens that came with that camera. In 1999 he began shooting digital images with a Nikon Coolpix 950, soon accompanied by use of an early version of Photoshop.
Frank had a home darkroom for many years that he used for making larger prints and he would occasionally develop his own film, working only in color, never black and white. He currently produces a full range of color, black and white, and infra-red digital images, and loves to explore creative imaging.
His career was entirely in the voice side of the telecommunications industry, starting and ending on the same month and day 48 years apart. Frank began with a high school internship at Michigan Bell that evolved into a full time job. During his career he held many different positions, and transitioned to Avaya when the Bell companies were broken up. Mid-point in his career he was working mostly in New York and Boston, so the company moved him from Michigan to Connecticut, right between the two cities. Frank earned the prestigious certification of Project Manager Professional from the Project Management Institute, and Masters Certification in International Business from George Washington University. These afforded him the opportunity to work with many Fortune 500 companies across the globe on telecommunications projects. Frank took an early retirement package from Avaya, then immediately began a job with Morgan Stanley. He retired completely in 2016.
Frank explained that one of the reasons for joining a photography club is to learn from the other members through seeing and discussing their images, and by participating in club activities. Listening to the comments by the judges of our monthly SCC competitions can teach much about what is valued in art photography. You can learn how to see what to shoot, how to set it up – what to include and what to exclude – and what adjustments can be beneficial in post processing. You can also learn to see images with your own vision and preferences, allowing you to agree or disagree with the judges’ comments. He also believes that an excellent way to improve your skills is to give a presentation on a topic, allowing you to expand your understanding in order to teach it.
In addition to Library workshops both alone and with others, Frank had provided after-the-break short presentations at club meetings on many topics of interest. He has also organized and led numerous Bring Your Own Camera workshops for members and non-members alike. Frank has also functioned as club outing coordinator, and Lightroom and Photoshop trainer. Once a year he performs the role of auditor of the club’s financials. Other functions include Library liaison and SCC charter and procedures documentation coordinator.
After filling the roles of both judge and commentator for the SCC monthly competitions, Frank now has the role of Judging Chairman. This task has been greatly complicated by all club meetings and functions going virtual in 2020, and he worked closely with Bill Payne, image wrangler and presenter, John Straub, president, and Vitali Zhulkovsky, webmaster supreme, to design, create, and implement the club website structures that make possible virtual judging. Frank also functions as the Zoom Czar, arranging and supporting the various SCC meetings. Additionally, he is the administrator for the SCC Google Group that allows members to communicate with all other members, and he provides logons and instructions to new members. Frank has also taken on the role of mentor for some new members, and is always available to members to answer technical and procedural questions. And sometimes the factual answer is followed by the advice “RTFM” (something to do with reading the manual…).
When the club lost the annual income from providing images to the Simsbury Bank Calendar due to a bank merger, Frank conceived and organized the Family Photo Shoot activity to raise funds for SCC. He coordinates closely with Library administration and staff, member photographers and support personnel (including the ever-vital “rodeo clowns” to capture children’s attention during the shoot), and publicity mavens. He also both provides and secures loans of the equipment and props needed for the shoot.
Locally, Frank forged a connection with the Simsbury Cemetery Association, the Simsbury Historical Society, the Simsbury Free Library, and the Daughters of the American Revolution to create a photographic record of all of the old and quickly eroding markers in the lower Simsbury Cemetery. He devoted many hours to this effort, figuring out how to designate location (graves are not in a grid pattern), and recruiting and coordinating a dozen photographers to shoot the over 5,000 images – all seeking out the best light and time of day to show up the faded inscriptions. He created a searchable database of all of the photographs and related information for the involved organizations.
For his extensive participation in and services to the club, Frank was nominated by SCC for, and received, the MNEC designation from the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) in 2018.
“Master Member, New England Camera Club Council — MNEC is awarded to those who have (1) performed exceptional service to the Council for several years, and (2) have substantially advanced photography in the New England area through lecturing, teaching, judging and through other administrative activities in photographic organizations in their community. This honor is limited to a maximum of five each year.”
Also in 2018, Frank was named as one of 60 Top Seniors Over 60 in CT. This designation was created by Duncaster as a way to showcase the lives of people 60 or older who have had a unique impact on their world, their communities, or the lives of others.
Frank is lucky enough to have his wife Joyce put up with his photographic endeavors, and she even allows him to bring his camera on their vacations. He truly enjoys photographing the time they spend with each other.