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Tue, July 23

Local photographer keeps nature alive in black and white for posterity

The deep canyons, majestic mountains, and stunning panoramic views in Arizona make it one of the best places around for nature photography. David Dvorak of Chino Valley knows this only too well, as his hobby is nature photography.

"My love of the land and the natural world has guided my photographic style," he said.

David got interested in photography while in high school, and about 9 years ago started taking photography classes at college, and in the last two years has started entering his photos in shows. In fact his most recent show was last month at Yavapai College Art Gallery, and all of his nature photos in the show were taken in the Chino Valley area.

Review/Salina Sialega

David Dvorak stands with a couple of his entries at the "Out There" photography shown last month at the Yavapai College Art Gallery.

"My photography is just a hobby, but I enjoy people looking at my work, and I'd like to get more of my work out there for people to look at," he admits.

David uses a 4X5 Field Camera. Because of all the setting up, composing and waiting for the right moment, it takes him approximately one half to one hour to take just one photo. His tip to amateur photographers to get the best pictures is to always take photos in the early morning or late afternoon, avoiding any harsh sunlight All of his photography is done with black and white film, and does all his own developing and printing. David explains that he does black and white photos because when he was just a little boy growing up in Iowa, he was tested and was found to be color blind.

When David isn't taking photos, he works at Yavapai College as a campus police officer. He has been working at the college for the past 13 years. "I like dealing with the students there, it's like a small community," he states.

In his free time he points out that he just loves being out doors enjoying nature even if he isn't taking pictures.

"I enjoy the serenity when I'm out taking photos; it takes my mind off of anything that is stressful," admits David.

"I believe that photography is an art. Just as a painter uses paint on a canvas to convey his artistic ideas, I use a sheet of film, with light as my paint," David said.

"When you take a picture that you know is a good photo, it's a great feeling to find that what you've pre-visualized is the way it turned out."

(Contact Diane DeHamer at


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