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About SHEP

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Date of Birth
January 6, 1944 (77)
About SHEP
I am a Retired U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and former Chief Photographer for a small Daily newspaper in San Diego, CA. Orphaned at 16, I worked and apprenticed at Photography/Unlimited in El Paso, TX prior to joining the Navy. The Navy sent me to various photo schools and eventually I was one of 13 selected for the Navy Program in Photojournalism at Syracuse University, graduating in 1970. From there I served at various Combat Camera teams, and special public affairs units, also qualifying as an Aircrewman, flying in the back seats of tactical fighter jets and helicopters. My primary job was to document the Vietnam War, ride ships and tell the Navy's story as well as stories about Navy men and women for posterity. These were published in newspapers and magazines around the world. In the process of these assignments, I traveled and lived in 32 countries and rode on 42 ships. I was one of a handful of Navy combat photographers documenting the fall and evacuation of Cambodia and Vietnam. It was hard to focus your cameras through a vale of tears...

After 20- plus years in the Navy, I retired to a more sedate life. I got a job as a news photographer at a small, daily newspaper, and within one year, I was promoted to Chief Photographer. After six years there, I found a much better job as a contract photojournalist for the Air Force. Unfortunately, the base closed and I then returned to my home in San Diego, CA. Photo jobs were hard to find in cliquish San Diego, but I soon found work with the state of CA as an "office boy" the go- to guy for any office problem -- a job far removed from my action and glory days as a photojournalist. But it was a restful period for me and by the time I retired from from that job a few years ago, I was ready to get back into photography again. But this time, I only shoot for myself -- no others! I prefer to photograph the hidden beauty of nature, flowers, and wildlife as well as creating abstracts via Photo-shop.

I use a Canon S-95 "point and shoot" as well as my iPhone 4 to capture my images. My primary camera and new love in cameras is the fantastic Nikon D-7000. The best camera to have being the one in your hand when you need it!

I am a horse trader by nature. I sold all my Nikon F-3 bodies and seven lenses, and bought Canon digital gear. I felt like a traitor to Nikon. When Nikon came out with their D-200 and an 18-200 lens, I sold all my Canon gear and went back to Nikon. As I suffer from severe arthritis in all joints and especially my wrists, I recently decided to sell my Nikon D-300 with the vertical grip due to its combined weight on my wrists. I now only have a Nikon D-7000, 18-200, 105 macro, 80-400, and an SB-800 flash. It produces astounding quality and is half the weight of my previous equipment. I can afford to buy almost anything, but why? It is all I need and the images are far better than the equipment I used to use to make award winning living and to record history.
San Diego, CA
Reading adventure and thriller books on my Kindle. See my BIO.
Retired from U.S. Navy and State Of California
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08-18-2011 03:57 AM
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