William “Bill” Latournes

The town of Windsor Locks has provided us with noted people such as Governor Ella Grasso and John Chapman (recent Air Force medal of honor recipient). It is the is home of Bradley Field International Airport and The New England Air Museum and the notable town gave the Simsbury Camera Club William Latournes.  Bill, however, now resides nearby in his wife Barbara’s home town, Windsor.

Bill’s many photographs over the years feature imaginative images and an eye for details, likely a direct outgrowth of his profession as a designer, drafter and detailer.  This talented “triple threat” artisan has worked for many well-known Connecticut companies including Stanley Tool, Ensign Bickford, and Combustion Engineering, but for 30 years he was employed at United Technologies, mostly at Hamilton Standard (and its many iterations) drawing up parts for the space shuttle and Pratt and Whitney’s jet engines. Bill retired from UTC in February 2020 thus granting him more time to enjoy at his Windsor and Wakefield, Rhode Island residences.

Bill’s supervisor at Hamilton Standard, David Royce, admired his wildlife, landscape and seascape photographs that he had made while on trips to the northern reaches of New Hampshire, Maine, as well as Cape Cod, Rhode Island shores and North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Bill is an avid “vegetation” photographer capturing images of flowers in his yard, especially roses and dahlias. He frequently is among the earliest Elizabeth Park morning visitors to photograph the newly flowering roses and tulips in the dawn’s light. With this in mind, in 2006 Dave Royce invited him to attend a meeting of the Simsbury Camera Club. To the club’s great benefit, Bill became “hooked” serving in many capacities in the club including refreshments coordinator, obtaining speakers for presentations, as well as helping put together the club’s Simsbury Celebrates photo exhibits along with Dave. As a club’s leader he served as vice president, president and is currently the club’s representative to the NECCC.

Bill, like many of us, has had several cameras over the years. His first was a Keystone 126, then an upgrade to a Canon AE 1. He would shoot 10 rolls of 36-image Kodak film and then patiently wait to see the outcomes. He would carefully assess his results and, with his discerning eye, think about how he could improve his photographic skills. Bill’s first digital camera was a Kodak Easyshare Max, then he graduated to a Canon Rebel XTI -1. He now uses a Canon 5D with a 75 to 200 mm macro lens and his travel camera is a lightweight mirrorless Panasonic Lumix G5. It appears evident that Bill’s photography philosophy mirrors that of Henri Cartier-Bresson who famously said, “For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.” 

Looking back, Bill reflected upon how much he has learned during his years with the club, primarily critical details in compositing an image and what to include or exclude in a background. Also, he likes to take several iterations of the same scene at different times and from different points of view if possible. During the years that he has been with the club he said he marveled at the advances in digital photography, but did not regret the club’s evolution away from print competitions. Also, he liked the changes in the “Focal Point News” as it evolved into what he considers our excellent SCC website.

He enjoyed learning the many post processing techniques. Bill has developed a critical eye in his capacity as an occasional judge of member’s competition images. Most important, however, Bill treasures the many friendships he has made through the club.