This letter was written by Tim in the Spring of 2001, in response to a letter he recieved in the mail from an 8th grader with an interest in photography. Below are Tim's answers to her questions!

Dear Emily-

Greetings from Oregon!
Here are the answers to the questions you sent regarding my photography.

1) When did you first start taking pictures?

I started taking pictures at age 16 with a Kodak Instamatic, but had a friend with a Nikon F2 that I spent alot of time with finding interesting images to photograph. We also explored developing and printing B/W in darkroon classes in high school.

2) What inspired you to become a photographer?

My interest in photography was inspired largely by my passion for painting. I had begun painting with acrylics at 16 years old and sought out interesting photographic images to interpret onto canvas. I painted for several years, but when I became too busy with work and family to paint as much, I used my camera for a creative outlet. My passion for two-dimensional imagery, combined with my strong inclination to document (events, etc.), led me to a two-year community college program for Photojournalism. I then retreated to nature photography, recording the beauty of wild and rural Western Oregon, from the Pacific Coast to the Cascade Mountains.
My love of music then sent me on yet another quest to photograph a series of performing musicians, to capture a visual glimpse of song through the artists themselves.
Ultimately, I guess I'd have to say that life itself inspires me.

3) Who inspires you the most?

Some of my favorite photographers include Henry Diltz, Ansel Adams, Annie Leibowitz and Edward Curtis.

4) Did anyone help you get where you are today? If so, who?

My wife and partner, Ananda, has been very supportive and does most of my busiiness correspondence, (photo clearance for concerts, etc.) She also developed my website.

5) What makes you want to take pictures?

Photography is a creative outlet for me, as well as a means to document life around me.

6) What was your first camera? Do you think you made a good choice? Why?

My first 35mm camera was a Pentax K1000, a very basic manual SLR, but solid and sufficient
for professional use. I thought it was a very good choice because by having only manual settings, I was forced to first learn and use the basics of aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, focus, and their relationships to each other, without the temptation to overide with auto-settings. I used this camera alone for 9 years. Though I now have a Nikon F100, I still use it mostly manually, except for those tough situations of fast action in changing light conditions.

7) What do you enjoy taking pictures of the most?

Early mornings on the beach, at very low tide, shooting tidepool life, comes to mind, but all in all, our enjoyment comes from within, so I guess it is revealed to me in many forms of expression. And just as much after the pictures are developed, as while I am taking them.

8) What are your plans for the future?

To keep shooting, following my heart for subject matter, and continue to see what doors of opportunity open along the way.

9) Do you have any advice for me?

Be willing to take constructive criticism. Be competetive without being cut-throat. Don't be discouraged by obstacles such as shooting failures. There's always more film and opportunities. Be a positive force in the world and you will succeed.

Take care, Emily.
I hope everything goes well for you.
It's been a pleasure corresponding with you.
Feel free to contact me any time.


Tim Owen

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