About The Light: About the Photographer

This is from the ABOUT page at my Etsy Store. I like the fact that this site for commerce does not neglect to let the artists and craft folks share their personal story: the WHY and the WHO of their creativity. The WHAT will hopefully sell itself.

I got my first camera, a Minolta, in 1970–the same month I got married and started grad school at Auburn University. As a recent convert to field botany, I needed a way to share what I saw in the wild.

Forty years and a half-dozen cameras later, I’ve shared my image collection widely with audiences in the Floyd County, Virginia area where I live (near Roanoke and Blacksburg.)

I’ve displayed photos regularly on my original blog site, Fragments from Floyd, that started in May 2002 and gets fresh photos and “grampa tales” a few times a week, even now.

I’ve “become a writer” these past dozen years, with radio essays, regular newspaper columns and two books, plus the blah-blah blogging. I have discovered that I enjoy “composition” of language in a similar way that I enjoy composing the lit object in the camera’s frame.

But I’ll always be partial to the stories that pictures tell–my pictures and my stories, but when you look at what I saw through the lens, you experience the exact same image frozen in time, captured now on card stock. Photography is a most intimate and shared creative work.

And so for the first time in this Etsy store–not that I have not been asked over the years to do it sooner–I can offer my visions of nature and local landscapes in this most personal exchange of beauty. Those who receive these cards will appreciate how much you care.

And in sharing the photography, you’re sharing where I’m from: Goose Creek–the source waters of the south fork of the Roanoke River. Goose Creek is home, and I named my store that way because it is intimately attached to and comes out of this place.

My intention is to slowly add other items to the store–photographic desktop and screen saver image packages, image-illustrated essays and stories, and maybe even some spoken-word readings from Slow Road Home and What We Hold In Our Hands.

I am really excited at last to reach beyond the local audience with my words and images, and I hope you find in them some resonance with your own sense of belonging, of beauty, of gratitude for this wonderful life we too often take for granted.

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fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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