Bill Chizek Photography
Bill Chizek is a retired Navy Musician, now amateur photographer from El Paso, TX and San Diego, CA. His photography journey began in 1981. He takes photos of anything that catches his eye; aircraft, cars, architecture, and anything historical along the way. We have conducted an interview with Bill.
What was your background and how did you become an amateur photographer after retirement?
My background has been music since the mid 1970’s. However, after two hernia operations and a few other issues, playing the trombone became painful and wasn’t fun anymore. I had really loved jazz improvisation and photography seemed to fill that creative part of my brain. Music is late nights for gigs and rehearsals, with two little girls photography is a much better fit in my life.
How do you decide on your choice of photography subjects?
I have a few things that I like to shoot no matter what; cars, aircraft, interesting buildings, and anything historic will grab my attention. History is my other passion and if I can shoot something that catches my eye and is historic, that’s a win/win for me!
Which is the most challenging photography subjects in your opinion?
Portraits and weddings, I don’t really do them. I’m just not in to the interaction that other photographers thrive on and frankly the thought of someone relying on me for the most special day of their lives scares the crap out of me! It takes a special person to do portrait photography and weddings, it’s just not something I’ve aspired to do. I’m retired and do photography for me, so while it’s great to sell photos I don’t depend on it. As a result, I don’t have or want clients, have no need to shoot portraits or weddings to put food on the table, so I can avoid what doesn’t interest me. It’s a great position to be in at age 53.
What kind of equipment do you use for your photography?
I use the Canon 6D and have 4 lenses. My main lens is the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, I also shoot with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6L DO IS USM, and Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD.
What is the similarity between music and photography?
Practice and rewards, using the ears and eyes, musicians who practice regularly experience progress and his is the reward for hard work and dedication. It’s the same for photography, practice to see improvement by setting goals and hopefully be rewarded by seeing your photography improve. Also, checking out and respecting the work of others is important, musicians listen to other musicians and photographers check out photographers.
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