Steve Samson

Status  Married, living in rural Ramona CA.  Currently a VP for a defense contractor during the day, president of a national association of Ford "Early Broncos" in the evenings, and an amateur photographer on weekends.

Camera History - Got a paper route to buy my first camera, a Brownie Hawkeye.  Graduated to an Argus C3.  Rewarded myself in Viet Nam with a Nikon Ftn, and have been burning through various Nikons ever since.

Current favorite cameras - Nikon D7100 (lots of knobs), Canon G12 (great camera with a flippy viewer), Olympus TG-2 (survives in any weather I'm brave enough to try)

My Camera Rules:

1. Any picture would have been better if I had a newer camera

2. If I take 10 pictures of anything, I should have taken 11

My photography goals - Replace Rules 1 & 2

Sonya Versluys 

I write.  I photograph.  Sometimes people like what I write or photograph.  I like the idea of capturing something that couldn’t otherwise be captured five minutes before or five minutes after.  In the moment…like a treasure hunt.  I have a pathological aversion to things like photoshop, and technical information, and as such I am not the person to talk about such things with.


Lorrain Healy, Whidbey Island, WA

I am mostly a film photographer, mostly a Holga photographer, but learning to love my Fuji x100s and xt-1. I already loved my iPhone. I’ve just finished writing a manual for tricks with the Holga cameras which will be available on Amazon as an eBook as of next week (if there are no glitches…). Also a poet and writer, also the kind of person who’ll stop to pet any dog within a few miles’ radius. Other than that, pretty low-maintenance. Did the whole of Route 66 in the summer of 2011. By this part of California, I was feeling sort of photographed out. Looking forward to different (=non-summer) skies. Now working on a Highway 99 project. Route 66 and Hwy 99 projects will likely have no end.

More on me at Favorite Disney princess…. I think Belle, of Beauty and the Beast. Current love is Sven, the moose in Frozen. (I have 5 step-grandkids, these are topics I’m extremely current on).

Linda Baliman

My father put a camera in my hands when I was just a little girl and I've been shooting off and on (mostly off) ever since. Moved to digital 5+ years ago. Nikons, starting with a D40. I've been photographing mostly wildlife and landscapes, which is not the direction that I imagined taking.  It just happened. Looking forward to this workshop because my original plan was to photograph architecture & geometric patterns. I'm comfortable with photography basics, and my cameras, but think that my photographs lack emotion. So, that's what I'd like to start working on.

Barry M. Nation

Graphic Designer, Atlanta Georgia

I have always been an artist at some level and in 2010 I got a DSLR and began my photographic journey. I take a camera everywhere I go and I always travel extra-light. A Nikon D3100, a couple of lenses and a Canon S100 are my go-to kit. I also have a few old film cameras from the 1960s. 

Whether at home, traveling with my wife and daughter, or on a business trip, some of my favorite subjects are empty lots, craggy trees, industrial landscapes, abandoned shopping carts, construction sites and just plain forgotten places. I am inspired by the sense of mystery and time-travel I often find in these subjects and the stories they tell. 

As far as where I want to go with photography, I want to continue to grow and develop as an artist and begin to exhibit my work in galleries.

Richard with reality television star, "Captain Wild Bill " Wichrowski 

Richard with reality television star, "Captain Wild Bill " Wichrowski 

Richard Momii

I graduated from Venice High, in Los Angeles. I'm retired from the Culver City Fire Department and am now semi-retired as a safety consultant for the entertainment industry. I live in Camarillo, California. My current amateur photography equipment is a Canon 5D Mark II with assorted lenses and a Sony RX100 Mark 3 point-and-shoot. I just got a light meter that I'd really like to lower how to use.

Dan Hawrylkiw

Dan started experimenting with photography in the 5th grade, when he tried closing the bulb-mode shutter of his father's SLR on a pencil to see what would happen. (The pencil won.) One camera repair, lessons, and a few rolls of film later, he realized how rewarding photography can be. Many years later, Dan primarily shoots with a Canon 5D3 for family snapshots, travel, sports, event photos, and occasional astrophotos.  To keep things different, he shoots a roll or two of film each month with a rangefinder or Soviet era pocket camera.  When traveling to areas with plenty of foliage, he may also bring a Canon 5D2, modified for full spectrum images, to shoot strange looking infrared landscapes that his wife and two kids won't like.

Professionally, Dan is an information security expert-- protecting intellectual property for a large corporation.  For fun, he frequently competes in local autocross events in the Phoenix area, travels to compete in national tours and championship events, and instructs high performance driving. During this photo tour, he is looking forward to shooting new subjects in unfamiliar environments, and in different styles than he typically uses.

Keith Swett

I’m Keith Swett (rhymes with ‘wet’), from Mesa, AZ, age 64. I have been an on-and-off as time permitted photo hobbyist since the late 60’s, and need an alibi for the weekend of 2/6(!?). I moved to Arizona from the rural countryside of northern Ohio in 1978 to escape the brutal 20 below Arctic Polar Express winters, constant “Kodak Heavy Overcast” weather, that beloved road salt, and to take a job at Motorola’s Gov’t Electronics Division, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

I worked for Motorola (and later General Dynamics when our division was sold to them) as an EEAPT (Electronic Engineering Assistant Prototyping Technician) until 2004, whereupon my tyrant boss fired me after a long period of exacerbation for giving him the same crap back. Since then I have been happily retired, enjoying a well-funded life (thanks to listening to Dad from an early age about making good, sound investments.)

Within the past two years I have gotten into Rangefinder collecting and experimenting with the Leica M3 system. (Thanks to Ken and his website I have been spending small fortunes here and there.) One of my goals with this photo trip is to receive some pointers from experts on how to ‘visualize / evaluate’ scenes in order to pick out from the background items or angles of view that would make more interesting, eye-catching photos. That issue has always been a weakness of mine. Previous equipment I have used was Dad’s Kodak Pony 135 in the 60’s, and Canon’s FD system starting in the late 70’s and continuing to the present--accumulating a large collection over time. I have recent digital experience with a Nikon D300s, D700 and the Fuji X100S and T (again thanks to Ken), but my real interest has been and always will be 35mm film. I lost ‘70%’ of our family lifetime photos due to a drunken / negligent apartment fire in 1980 (not my doing.) This has since been a long term dejection but whaddya gonna do. Lesson learned – keep offsite backups of critical items.

We are Greg and Lynn Chapel.

We have been married 20 years and live in Sparks, Nevada.

We are self employed, and own a concession company. We decided to take up photography as amateur enthusiasts last year as we have most of the winters and springs off. We both have taken pictures in the past and want to get better at it.

Lynn has a Nikon D7100 which she would love to master and Greg has a Leica M8.

See you soon.

Jim Becker

I'm enclosing 2 photos of myself, sort of a then and now. The first one is me ready to photograph my first wedding in 1963 at the ripe age of 9. Second is more recent selfie taken last year in Australia. I've had a lifelong interest in photography but earn my keep as an engineer.

I have been shooting with Nikon cameras since I was in high school but a year ago tried going mirrorless with a Fuji X-E2. Unfortunately my D600 has been spending more time in the closet since the arrival of the Fuji. I'll be bringing both along on Rt 66. I'm looking forward to meeting all you this weekend. I've been wanting to join this trip for several years now but always had some other commitment when yo were going.

Ben and Vanessa McCormack

Moved from the UK to Dallas just over a year ago, as part of a company relocation. Now having a great time exploring Dallas and America, seeing the sights and finding fun places to eat.

Both love photography, although currently at a very basic level.

We have traveled to many parts of the world and taken some cool pictures BUT most of them by way of luck and the Auto setting on the camera!!


David Filippi

I manage a small biotech incubator in San Luis Obispo, California. After a long hiatus I'm getting back into SLR photography as a hobby, and I'm constantly amazed at what modern cameras can do! Some of my recent photos can be viewed a