What did you do before photography as a career?
I’ve worked and continue to work as a Child Development Specialist for over 25 years. I currently teach children of Military families at MCAS Miramar Child Development Center. Prior to that, I worked at General Dynamics Electronics Division as a Materials Handler/Purchaser for 15 years.
How did you get started in photography?
I found my love for photography when I took Graphic Arts in High School (El Capitan, Class of ’78). Going to the darkroom and developing film, making Black & White and Color prints of what you just shot that day/week, put the photo bug in me. I wanted to learn more about the art of photography, so I went out and challenged myself. My first Canon camera was the (AE-1 Film camera) that I used in the 1980’s to photograph Baja Short course races at Brown Field, Chula Vista, CA and at Saddleback located in El Toro, CA.
What are some of your favorite genre to photograph and why?
Some of my favorite genres to photograph are landscapes, sporting events, Americana, and wildlife. Landscapes and wildlife because of being out in nature and the ever-changing scenery it has to offer. Sporting events because of the time and effort the participants put into the game and capturing that in the images. I like to shoot Americana, to try to show/document the history of our country.
What photo stands out foremost in your memory? Why?
The photo titled “Earthrise.” It is a photograph of the earth above the moon’s surface that was taken from lunar orbit by Astronaut William Anders on December 24, 1968 during the Apollo 8 mission. I remember seeing it in Life Magazine and thinking, “That would be so cool to take pictures of Earth from Space.” As I grew up, I realized that I can still do that from Earth itself, because there are so many cool places to photograph here on Earth. That’s where I came up with my motto of, “Bringing the World to you, one photograph at a time.”
What location or experience is on your bucket list to capture with your camera and lens?
I would love to experience and photograph the Aurora Borealis, also known as “Alaska’s Northern Lights” in Fairbanks, Alaska. My other bucket list wish is to go to Hawaii to experience and shoot active volcanoes and lava flows.
What equipment do you like to use and why?
For my photography I like to use Canon cameras and lenses. I’ve always been happy with the results I get from my Canon camera. Canon has always given me, quality, sharpness and reliability. My first Canon camera was the (AE-1 Film camera) which I still own. As digital cameras became the norm in photography, I bought the Canon T3i, and then upgraded to the Canon EOS 70D.I am currently shooting with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. My go to lenses are the Canon EF Telephoto 400mm f/5.6L USM as well as the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM. I have both Canon Extenders, the EF 1.4x II and EF 2x II in my equipment bag.
How do you see the future of photography evolving?
Mirrorless cameras are making an impact on our industry, and SONY has come strong out of the gate. I’m not counting Canon or Nikon out, but I do think they have some catching up to do if they are to compete in the Mirrorless field of photography.
What attracts you to shooting at the Lakeside Rodeo?
Everyone is family! I love how my photography skills are challenged with the variety of events (usually 7) going on, and how you need to change your technique, to capture each of those events. When I’m shooting at the Lakeside Rodeo, I want to tell a story with my photography. I try to capture all aspects of the rodeo because everyone that attends, participates, sponsors and volunteers at the Lakeside Rodeo make it what it is, a true family affair!
Check Bob Ryan out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rdryanphoto/