Seattle Photography Committee Featured Member - Feb 2018

Mike Waller is the Seattle Photography Committee featured member for February 2018.
Anita Elder Anita Elder
Seattle Photography Committee Chair
February 01, 2018

Name: Mike Waller
Hometown: Normandy Park Washington
Member Since: 2008
Occupation: Retired, former Director Woodland Park Zoo, early in his career, Mike worked as a project manager on Gasworks Park and the Seattle Aquarium.
Favorite Things to Photograph: Mike is generally a "photographic omnivore", but currently concentrates on landscape/travel, street/event and abstract photography. While at the zoo, Mike did a lot of wildlife photography, much of it in Africa.

Mike got involved with The Mountaineers when he bought a digital camera after years of using film cameras. He enrolled in the Basic Photography Course, after which he began attending the monthly potlucks and occasional field trip.

Mike is most happy wandering around, usually alone, with a camera looking for things to photograph. He finds it meditative, peaceful, and likse the challenge of looking at the world through a lens. One way Mike motivates himself is with occasional workshops, and with projects like the Hiroshima Memorial event at Green Lake, the two year Georgetown Steam Plant abstracts project, images from Neighborhood Parks, macro in our garden, various community events, or prepping for gallery exhibits.

I think my favorite memories involve the friends I’ve made and the outings we’ve taken together to find images that inspire. I distinctly remember the first field trip to the 2008 Greenwood Car Show led by John Smiley. The colors and shapes appealed to my love of abstract images.

Mike loves the outdoors and he is at peace in the landscape, but he gets equally inspired walking around the city looking for interesting human interaction. A list favorite photographers is much too long, but a few of his favorites are: Saul Leiter, Michael Kenna, Simon Baxter, Valda Bailey, Joel Meyerowitz, Helen Levitt, Fred Herzog... and he could go on.

Mike recently had series of abstract images from the Georgetown Steam Plant published by Lenswork Publishing in their “Seeing in Sixes” annual. Mike also had images awarded in juried art shows in the region. Last summer, he was part of Street Photography exhibit and the year before had a gallery show of Monhegan Island Images.

Mike's greatest strength is his ability to see and the patience to work a scene or location. He's generally an introvert and he is happy being on his own taking photographs. Mike had to be leader in his professional and volunteer life but since he retired, he's happy to share his knowledge, but also happy to let others step up. Mike is not a particularly avid follower.

In the past, Mike has been a member of or in leadership positions on the boards of the state Audubon Society, The International Snow Leopard Trust and other conservation organizations he feels passionately about. At this point in his life, Mike prefers to spend his time hiking, photographing and being with his grandchildren, one of whom is developing a
very good eye.

All photos copyright by Mike Waller.


Attend our monthly potluck, which is the third Wednesday of each month. We socialize and share food, then we have announcements and show photos of what we have seen during the past month or year.

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