Photography and commentary by Paul Yarnall

About Paul Yarnall

080128-150443-0026-ac-c_300I live with my lovely wife, Susie, and a couple of cute Shih Tzus in a house I built adjacent to the Canandaigua Airport (D38). The town of Canandaigua sits on the north end of Canandaigua Lake, one of the larger Finger Lakes in Upstate New York.  It’s a beautiful area that enjoys four photogenic seasons, though spring and fall are often brief.

I graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology, famous for its photography program, as an engineer rather than a photographer.  I was shooting black and white film in those days and transported a portable darkroom in a big box which I set up in the bathroom of whereever I ended up living in that migratory period of my life.  I didn’t have any formal training in the photographic craft then and except for the act of documenting the people and places in that time of my life I have to confess that those early images are mostly unremarkable to my now more critical eye.

I am still working as an engineer and have my own company, Technical Resolutions.  I provide design related services to other engineering firms and local industry.

While I continued to take photos in the years after college, my photographic “reawakening” began with the emergence of the digital camera technology shortly after the turn of the new century.  The ability to see my images within seconds of taking them and the software to ‘process’ the images had me hooked immediately.  A few courses at the local community college and continued self  study have helped me to ‘look for the light’, compose my subjects more creatively, and take advantage of the powerful software available today to process images to be the best they can be.  Photography today is in constant flux, and I continue to study all aspects of the digital craft to maintain or increase my proficiencies.

I am a Canon shooter.  My present bodies include the 5D, the 1Ds III, and a G9 for the pocket. Lenses are all Canon L zooms ranging from 17 to 400mm.  Support gear includes Gitzo carbon tripod, RSS mounts, ball head, and pano kit.  Several Lowepro packs are used but my favorite and most used bag system, especially for travel, is the Think Tank Speed Racer.

After working in a number of software systems over the years, I have recently settled on Adobe LightRoom as my primary photo workflow environment.  It has matured into an extremely efficient and capable image management, ‘developing’, and output center.  Adobe Photoshop is used much less these days.  Photomatix for HDR and Autopano Pro for panorama stitching are excellent tools I use for those capabilities.  DXO Optics Pro is another tool with camera and lens specific features which I call upon from time to time.

The computer side of my photography recently migrated to the “light side”… otherwise known as Mac.  If I could get Mac versions of my engineering software I would jump the Windows  ship entirely, but alas I still have feet in both camps out of necessity.  For my photo work the Mac is wonderful and life is good.

The majority of my images are of people and places that are far from home.  Traveling to new places automatically turns on my “photo eye”, but sometimes I don’t have to travel very far.  The Upstate region is photogenically rich in possibilities.

I exhibit selected photos at All Things Art in Canandaigua, the Phelps Art Center in Phelps, NY, and in the occasional show sponsored by the Finger Lakes Photo Guild, of which I am a member.

As a pilot for some thirty years, I occasionally combine that love with photography. If I have my motorcycle out with my friends, a camera is always tucked in the tank bag.  You never know when a great image may jump out in front of you!