COLLIN SPILINEK Fremont Grandstand
When it comes to taking pictures of dogs, Ken Shuster said he never stands while filming.
“You have to get on their level,” he says. “If you pull on something, it diminishes the object. This decreases its strength when pulling at something.
Last Saturday, Shuster had a class at the Fremont Area Art Association dedicated to teaching attendees the basics of shooting dogs.
The students used Darci and Greta, two dogs owned by board member Katy Jones, as subjects during class.
Shuster, who has spent most of his life in Fremont, previously worked for the Chicago and North Western and Union Pacific railroads before retiring nine years ago.
“I used to do a bit of photography when I was growing up, just general taking pictures of kids and holidays and so on, family events, Christmas, that sort of thing,” he said. declared.
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But it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that Shuster got seriously involved in photography.
“I saw these exhibits at the mall by different portrait photographers and thought, ‘Damn, I can do this,'” he said. “So I ended up with a little digital camera and went from there.”
Since he began art, Shuster’s subjects of concentration have been wildlife and landscapes, as well as macro photography, which focuses on small objects at high magnifications.
About 10 years ago, Shuster became a member of the FAAA, which hosted his exhibits and work in its gift shop.
“It’s one of the hidden gems of this city,” he said. “He’s been there for 60 years, and I don’t think three-quarters of the town knows where he is.”
Shuster has also used the space to host classes, including teaching landscape photography. He hopes to hold a mating and framing class later this year.
When teaching, Shuster said he uses “strange” but effective methods, including avoiding taking pictures himself during a class.
“If I do, you shoot like me, not like you,” he said. “There is a big difference.”
The idea for Shuster’s dog class came from FurEver Home, while he was photographing for his annual Pet Pictures with Santa event, where members of the public bring their furry friends for a photo shoot.
Bringing her expertise to the FAAA, Shuster said the students enjoyed learning the different angles of dog photography, especially ones as exciting as Darci and Greta.
“It seemed to be going very well,” he said. “The first thing I had them do was take pictures looking at the animals, then looking at the dogs at eye level, then from lower.”
Shuster said while teaching at the FAAA, whom he thanked for being so accommodating, he told his students to shoot in the middle of the action.
“Find your picture, find the story you need to tell,” he said. “And it’s no different with children, dogs, people, flowers.”