by Leti Wesolowski
After retiring from teaching for 31 years, Sonny pursued the art of photography. In an effort to continually improve his work he took many workshops from renowned contemporary photographers such as Galen Rowell, John Shaw, George Lepp, John Fielder, and David Middleton.
Sonny’s photography encompasses both traditional and non-traditional views of our surroundings and his travels around the world, always looking for the perfect light that the eye sees, not just what the camera captures, or a viewpoint that others might miss as we hurry through life.
How did you get interested in photography?
I was the Historian for my college fraternity and had to make a scrapbook of photos for the year and the photos were never as good as I thought they should be-I wanted to get better. Then for a college graduation gift my Mom paid for several courses of photography at The Center of the Eye Photography School in Aspen, Colorado. That's when I fell in love with CO and photography too.
Where do you get inspiration? Are there certain times of the year of certain places where you feel more creative?
In Colorado, basically all you have to do is look out the window to find inspiration. We live in such a beautiful state. Inspiration is everywhere.
We heard your favorite time of day to photograph landscape is at sunrise and sunset. Would you tell us what is it that you look for on a landscape/scenery? What is the visual effect or emotion you look for capturing?
I look for a special composition that stands out because of the lighting upon it whether it be a grand landscape or a close up of an aspen leaf with dew drops on it.
What part of the process you enjoy the most?
The most enjoyable part of photography for me is to see a finished photograph come out exactly the way that I had envisioned it to. When I first started, my photographs did not live up to what I was seeing, but after much practice and several courses (and better equipment) the photographs are much improved.
We've seen an amazing portfolio of photographs from your world travels—Africa, Japan, Nepal—where you dabbed into a multitude of photographic genres besides landscape: portrait, wildlife, architectural. Which genre(s) is/are your favorite? Which one you enjoy the most? Which one is the most challenging?
My favorite genre is still landscape photography, but probably the most challenging for me is taking portraits of the people I see on my travels.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was getting published in Outdoor Photographer Magazine for a Favorite Places article that I wrote and provided the photo for!
What is your best seller and where was it taken?
Picking my best seller is difficult, but would come from one of three: "Truly Colorado", "Sky Dancer" or "Aspens and Mist" triptych -all taken in CO.
What's next for you?
I would like to visit Antelope Canyon this year, maybe even take a seminar there. I have seen some incredible photography from that location.
The best place to purchase Sonny's photos would be at Commonwheel Artist's Co-op in Manitou Springs, CO. Visit the shop to get 10% off all purchases of Sonny’s photography this month.
You can find examples of his work here and at imagekind