BEHIND THE LENS: A look inside the Finger Lakes Photography Guild

"Winter is Coming" - Photo by George Wallace

We all take photographs. But what motivates some to go a step beyond to create unique and artistic images?

Finger Lakes Photography Guild member George Wallace took his first photos with a Kodak box camera when he was nine years old. 

“Today, I embrace digital photography and focus on landscapes,” he said. “I’ve been a partner at Image City Photography Gallery in Rochester and at Gallery 96 in Bushnell’s Basin until its recent closing.” 

George loves walking along trails and capturing the emotion he feels in a scene, but said he rarely knows if he’s been successful until he sees the images at home on his computer.

Former Guild president Diane Dersch says after she retired from music education eleven years ago, she “picked up a camera and never looked back.”

“I’ve attended numerous photography workshops and classes out west and in England,” she said. “I’ve also been the chief photographer for numerous mission trips to Africa.” 

Diane enjoys shooting landscapes, flora, animals, still lifes, and black and whites, and is always looking for something different to photograph, which keeps her mind active.

Longtime Guild member Keith Kappel enjoys delving into the past with his camera. 

“I’m always looking for antiques, old vehicles, and historic barns,” he says. “They’re a gold mine for photographers, and I’m rarely disappointed with the images I capture at such places. I’m also sensitive to the lighting and composition of images, as you can see in ‘Hex Barn.’ Some scenes are just too pleasant to pass up.”

Photographer Paul Yarnall began shooting with a childhood Christmas gift: a Kodak Brownie. 

“I started getting serious with the advent of digital photography,” he said. “We live in a golden age of freely accessible knowledge, and YouTube is a remarkable resource for continued learning. Photographers today are lifelong students of that art form.” 

Paul seeks visuals that impress him in some way, and he uses photography to freeze such moments in time. 

“Photography has taught me how to see better,” he said. “When everything comes together in an image, you want to do it again. It’s addicting.”

The Finger Lakes Photography Guild members meet monthly to share their work, improve their skills, and share tips and tricks to make them better photographers. Some 27 professional and amateur photographers from various walks of life, many Guild members are routinely recognized in contests, magazines, and juried shows. 

To learn more about the Finger Lakes Photography Guild, search for it on Facebook or visit


Annual Wood Library Exhibit

Wood Library, 134 North Main St. in Canandaigua, NY, will feature the work of the Finger Lakes Photography Guild from December 3, 2023 through January 12, 2024. Photographs are professionally framed and most are available for purchase. The display is free and open to the public. Heron Hill winery will provide free wine samples at an opening reception on December 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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