photo of Peter Juranka

I am an Ottawa based photographer and a senior member of the RA Photoclub. In my early teens my father showed me how to use the family's 35 mm Exakta Varex camera and  taught me how to develop and print black and white photos in a makeshift darkroom under a set of basement stairs.  Since those early years I graduated to a Nikon FM camera but there was a long dry period when my career as a research scientist, raising a family and renovating our cottage and home took precedence over shooting. During that time my artistic outlet was drawing.

In January 2000 I joined the Ottawa RA Photoclub and I am again immersed in photography. For a while I printed black and white photos in my home-built darkroom (no longer cramped under the stairs) and now print colour photos from my computer on an Epson 1270 inkjet printer (my "colour lightroom").

I entered the digital age slowly by scanning the slides I had taken with my manual Nikon FM 35 mm camera using a Nikon LS4000 scanner.  This slide scanner has amazing resolution and captures details as fine as the grain in the emulsion. I then purchased my first digital camera, the Nikon 5700. This 5 megapixel camera has truly changed the way I now shoot.  The tremendous freedom of exploring a subject without worrying about the cost of film processing is one aspect but much more important is the instant feedback to see if I've captured what I visualized and if not, just shoot it again. 3 things bothered me about this camera, the delay between pressing the shutter button and the actual taking of the picture made it difficult to capture fleeting action photos, the lack of a wide angle and finally the inability to manually correct focus especially under dim light where the autofocus would hunt for a place to focus and still often give you soft pictures. In early 2004 I finally picked up the Nikon D70 6 megapixel digital SLR. The clear image in the viewfinder, manual focus correction, wide angle lens and instantaneous shutter release has brought me completely into the digital age. I haven't shot any film since then.  In 2006, I  upgraded to  the 10 megapixel, Nikon D200.  

Although I've never taken formal courses in photography, I am a voracious reader of photo magazines and books and I gain inspiration from exposure to the high calibre photos shown at the RA photoclub.

I am a member of Canadian Association of Photographic Art (CAPA) . I look forward to attending the summer Canadian Camera Conferences (Halifax,NS-2002;  Ottawa,ON-2003;  Nanaimo,BC-2004; Toronto, ON-2006). These conferences showcase both amateur and pro photographers and provide an exciting week of immersion in photography with lectures and workshops.  One of my photos, "Turkish Goat-herder"  received an Honourable mention ribbon in the last CAPA digital competition .

The monthly photo competitions at the RA club also provide a strong impetus to keep shooting and many of my portfolio photos are award winning shots.  

From 2001-2006 I was the digital group leader at the RA PhotoClub.   This has been a prime motivator to learn the intricacies of Photoshop, colour management and scanning techniques since I have to absorb and learn before I can teach and pass on the information to my fellow digital club members. PDFs of my various seminars are available at RA digital group documentation

Currently I am co-leader of the newly formed "Urban" group at the photoclub.   Photos taken during our many and varied Urban shoots can be found here  "Urban Group Galleries".

I  have been a member of  the "Foyer Gallery" since January 2005.  This artist run gallery in Ottawa contains a very dynamic group of visual artists (27 at last count).  Membership is juried and acceptance is based on quality and excellence of original artwork.  The Foyer Gallery offers me a constant venue to exhibit my photographs to the public.  Recently I have been featured as a member of the Foyer in "Ottawa Life" magazine (January 2007) .;