This is the first in a series of profiles highlighting the winners of our Nature Photography Exhibit.
Richard States of Cortland, Ohio won first place in the ‘Wild Plants’ category and also took Best of Show for his photograph, Milkweed!
LC: How did your interest in photography begin?
RS: I started teaching horticulture in Warren in 1972. I did not have any good slides to teach my students plant identification, so I purchased a used camera and macro lens taught myself how to take pictures and developed my own slides. After 5 different slide series and the script to go with them, I could then teach plant identification. The students were required to learn 125 different trees and shrubs by common and scientific name.
LC: How many years have you been taking photographs?
RS: 42 years.
LC: Tell us about your winning photograph, Milkweed.
RS: I found this milkweed growing along Mosquito Lake on the east side along the road that goes along the lake by the bridge. I always take pictures of milkweed; it’s one of my favorite subjects. There’s so much variation in each pod with the seeds spewing out as they ripen and the wind blows. They have great texture and beauty all by themselves. There’s just so much beauty in nature.
LC: What’s your favorite kind of photography?
RS: As a photographer I do mostly close-up/macro photography. I enjoy being outside and finding flowers and plants to take pictures of. I put many of my images together and do PowerPoint programs for groups.