Interview with Dean Gretsch!

terri

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Welcome to another TPF Member Spotlight, everyone!

Our interviews are designed, quite simply, to showcase our members. It’s not meant to be a pretentious show, or make anyone feel self-conscious about their work style or artistic preferences. These interviews are casual chats just to get to know each other better - a celebration of our wide, diverse group of photographers who, despite coming from a variety of backgrounds, all come to TPF because of a shared love for photography.

TPF is a wonderful community and it’s worthwhile to shine the spotlight on our members. This means YOU, reading this – don’t be surprised if you hear from us asking for an interview!

Remember, each interview segment will be left open like a regular thread, so you can ask your own questions or comment on things you may have learned. This is our new way to highlight the skill sets and display the unique styles of our wonderful community.

Enjoy!

Now, onto our interview – member Dean Gretsch!


Thanks for doing this interview, Dean! We’ll start off like we always do, of course. Can you tell us about your start in photography? What got you interested?

I grew up in a small, rural area of Kentucky and I remember my father always having a little Instamatic of some kind. He liked taking pics of our family outings, whether they be picnics and sightseeing adventures, fishing trips or just extended family events on Sunday afternoons. Those pictures always managed to get brought out when we had visitors and we’d sit around discussing the people in them or the places they showed.

Now, as an adult, I always enjoy the reminiscing they bring. I guess I associate photos with remembering the things we have done and places we have seen. It’s always fun in my family to see the old photos again.



Dean - photo 4 Gecko.jpg


Gecko “This pic shows the details you can capture with macro/close up work. The little nuances in the eyes are fascinating to me.”





What's your current gear? And how often do you get a chance to get out there and shoot it?

I have a couple Canon bodies. My first dslr was the SL1. It was a gift from my wife and was a great little learner. I ended up taking a digital photography class at a local community college to learn the operations and basic functions, and it served me well for a couple years. I ended up buying a T7i a bit later and kept the SL1 so I could leave a long lens on one body and have a macro on the second. These two types of lenses will cover just about 100% of the photos I tend to shoot. I carry them both usually on a harness designed for that purpose and can avoid changing lenses in the field.

I have Canon kit lenses, the Sigma 170-500mm for wildlife, a Sigma 70mm macro and a great little Lensbaby Velvet 56 that I really enjoy using.

I used to go out daily when we had fur babies since we’d take them for walks 2 or 3 times every day and I always took the cameras. I am lucky to get out weekly now, and mostly use the cameras when we go on trips to visit family or vacations. The grandkids assure I still have a need for them though!







Dean - photo 6 Little Spider.png


Little Spider on Blackberry Bramble “It just amazes me to see the eyes of a spider. This one in particular gives the appearance of intellect.”






Have you developed a preference for a certain area to go photograph? Do you have a preference for time of day?


We are blessed here in northeastern Pennsylvania with an abundance of land made available for recreational use. I happen to live on the Susquehanna River, and my wife and I enjoy getting out on the kayaks. For some reason, it seems the wildlife, especially eagles and other aquatic birds are a bit less skittish when people are on the water than land, and it’s my experience they let you get closer.

I always carry the gear in a dry bag until I am situated and comfortable before taking it out, so I don’t really worry much about damaging it. I don’t make a living with the gear, (I’d starve if I tried!), so I see it as entertainment tools and get as much use as I can.

My favorite times to get out are early morning after the sun has come up, and golden hour.







Dean - photo 3 Fluffy.jpg


Fluffy “A simple subject, but for some reason it just appeals to me.”





Outside of photography, what do you do for fun and adventure?


I have a ton of hobbies and interests. My biggest problem is finding time to allocate for all of them! I have been trying to teach myself guitar for several years now. That’s how I came up with the username I have. Both Dean and Gretsch are brands of guitars I either currently have or have previously owned. I enjoy listening to music immensely and have for half a century at least. Blues and rock are the staples, but I just recently discovered a young man and his band, (Billy Strings), that play traditional bluegrass music.

I have been teaching myself a few craft-style hobbies. These include glass etching, decal and fabric graphics, and handmade cards. I probably spend most of my free time on these lately.

We have a very small little vegetable garden that we enjoy tending each year and always look forward to that first tomato!

I have had many past hobbies that seem to have given way to current ones that included cheesemaking, bass fishing, genealogy and reading western novels.





Dean - photo 5 Resenator.jpg


Resenator “A resonator guitar I have that I photographed with the Lensbaby Velvet 56 under low light conditions. The bokeh was something I was trying for and the lens didn't disappoint me.”






Do you like spending time in the kitchen? What’s your go-to dish, if you have to rustle up a meal?

Both my wife and I were single parents with daughters, so home cooked meals were a necessity to learn. After we got together, we both were still working and so we each cooked during the week. Our schedules differ a little, so it works out for each of us to cook different days of the week. We have discovered pressure cooking and now count an Instant Pot as a necessity equaling a microwave or toaster in our kitchen.

We enjoy soups and such in the winter, salads from the veggie garden spring and summer, up until autumn’s frost stops that. When the girls were at home, I spent a lot of time making bread since we all really love the taste of yeast breads.



Sounds great! I’ll be over at 7.

Do you have a favorite photographer? Does this photographer influence your style and, if so, in what way?


I have never formally studied photography, so the usual heroes never interested me. I took a class way back in high school and learned to develop black and white film there, but it just didn’t catch my interest until much later in life, when I had time and money to pursue it as a hobby.

There are many photographers here on this forum I look up to, each having settled into their own little niches, and being very skilled in them. As you know the abundance of and willingness to share knowledge here has no end, so heroes surround us all! I try to pay attention to the tips and general hints the members give, but we all should find our own way and develop our own style. If we aren’t making money from our interest, why should we make anyone but ourselves happy with our photos?



Hear hear! That’s a great attitude for what is mainly a hobby for most of us. Now, let’s switch gears. If you could time travel, forward or back, where would you go? How come?

This one is easy. I have always loved history, so traveling back to see how life really was for our ancestors would be such a thrill. This is one of the reasons I acquired another hobby I failed to mention: metal detecting. Some of my prized finds are old round balls (bullets) used in black powder firearms. There is something about holding one and thinking about the person who used this. Was it fired in defense of himself or family, or was it used to feed those people? Did this thing I am holding possibly even kill a human? The unknowns are endless.

Photos are an incredible piece of history that show how people used to dress, how they spent their time or preserves old ways our landscapes have changed over the years. While visiting an antiques store several years ago, my wife allowed me to pick out her birthday gift to me there. It was an old, turn of the 20th century photo album with the old photo cards. I had no idea who these people were but the clothes they were wearing, and the backgrounds were just so interesting to me.

I think I’d want to stay here in the US or travel to Great Britain. I have family roots in both countries, so they’d most interest me.







Dean - photo 1 Eras Gone By.png


Eras Gone By “As a history zealot, any photo that depicts a way of life gone by is interesting, whether technically correct from a photographer's view or not.”





What’s still on your bucket list? Places to go, things to do?

An extended visit to the UK is first and foremost on my list. I would love to spend 2 or 3 years there. My wife has immediate family there, so it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. We both love traveling, and with our son-in-law’s career in the US Coast Guard, we travel to see the grandkids when we can. We want to go back to Alaska. Our grandson was born there while the granddaughter was on the opposite end of the US: Key West, Florida. Both these places,and types of areas, are photographic heavens! We’ve still yet not seen Yosemite or that area, so once I retire in a couple years, we intend on making that happen.

We discuss buying an RV and both find that idea appealing for retirement, so if you see an old guy out and about carrying two cameras, stop and say Hi. It might just be me!



You know I will! Thank you, David, for doing this interview. This was fun!




This concludes our main interview. As always, this interview will stay open for any comments, or more questions from our TPF readers. Take it away, folks!










Dean - photo 2 Cracks Me Up.jpg


Cracks Me Up “I can't look at this one without chuckling. I hear Robert De Niro's voice saying "You talking to me???" every time. This Canada gosling looks like it has attitude.”
 

SquarePeg

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Love this interview - kudos to you both!

That guitar photo is fantastic! the LB? Very creative.
 

Lez325

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Excellent interview very entertaining and informative + the added bonus of some lovely images

Nice to see the learning guitar and the image- I play Lead Guitar with a Blues band here in the UK- and own several High end American guitars-1x Gibson and 2x Fender - keep at fella its a rewarding hobby

Thank you for sharing Dean
here is a great website for songs etc - well worth a look



my Fender Stratocaster 1980 done as an album cover type shot
O6shNWa.jpg


and the Gibson Les Paul 1991
avhyttP.jpg



Les :)
 
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limr

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Thanks @terri for the interview. Great questions!
Thanks @SquarePeg for the encouragement!
Thank you @Lez325 for those kind words and that great site!

And thank you for participating! It was so nice to get to know you a little more. A true Renaissance Man! :)
 

Dean_Gretsch

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Thank you @limr. I take that as a wonderful compliment. I have always tried to test myself😊
 
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CherylL

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Great interview! Your macro shots are wonderful. I like the POV on the '"fluffy". So you are not really Dean? Maybe now I will think of guitar Dean :)
 

webestang64

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Wonderful interview. I like the all shots you choose but mostly the Little Spider ( I like spiders). I can relate to having a lot of hobbies. I just got back into building plastic car models as I found a little spot in my apartment to work on them.
 

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