West Virginia South April - May 2019 - Page 63

Fletcher took this image of a fisherman during an early morning boat ride along Lake Atitlán in the Highlands of Guatemala. “And now with this box, I can (per- manently) capture the scene,” he says. So he purchased a Yashica FX-7 and began learning everything he could about his new craft, completing two classes through the New York Institute of Photography, reading every volume of the Time Life Library of Photog- raphy, 12 or 14 volumes from Kodak and various publications from other professional photographers. “I couldn’t get enough information about the medium,” he says. He filled notebooks — which he still has — with camera settings and the times of the day he took photographs so he could keep track of what worked and what didn’t. “I can go back now and tell you the date and time of every photo I ever took,” he says. And then in 1982, when he left the Navy — after briefly attempting to take his love of photo from hobby to busi- ness back at home in Webster County — he began taking professional photos in Hawaii, where his wife, Deborah was stationed. “It was mainly ocean, windsurfing and nature photos,” Fletcher says. But he had clients, shooting photos for a group called Teen Challenge and before long he was published in Aloha Magazine. “It took off from there,” he says. Fletcher worked where his wife was stationed, taking nature photos in Hawaii, Virginia, Florida and Puerto Rico. APRIL-MAY '19 ❖ SOUTH ❖ 63