Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    A birdwatcher’s life takes flight during Laney photo exhibition

    William Van Meter may never have begun taking photographs if it weren’t for a certain heron.

    “I was a birdwatcher in Florida and a great big blue heron came out of the slough,” he said, “He didn’t see me as he was climbing up out of the pond. When he came up on the bank and saw me he didn’t turn and show fear, he strutted off and I said to myself ‘I should have a camera.’”

    This experience stuck with Van Meter and upon returning to California he did get his camera and began taking photographs of the birds he so enjoyed watching.

    These were his first subjects, but they were far from his last.

    Van Meter first started taking photography classes after seeing “a little notice in a coffee shop that there was a nature photography class down at the Oakland Army Base.”

    It was in these classes that Van Meter first became exposed to and interested in studio photography and began honing his craft.

    When the teacher retired, Van Meter began taking classes at Laney where he has been ever since.

    In his upcoming exhibit, titled “The New Photography” a collection of Van Meter’s photographs will be on display as a demonstration of his newest photographic exploration.

    He said that “normally I work in black and white. I photograph window mannequins and I’ve been doing that for over 15 years.”

    But this changed when he got a digital camera and began shooting in color.

    Van Meter began by photographing some flowers he spotted in a CVS pharmacy. “I took some photographs and I noticed that the color was very good and interesting.”

    He had the photographs printed and was impressed by the vibrancy of the images.

    It is these photographs that will be shown in his exhibit. Van Meter said, “The digital camera is now the new photography,” and that the “sophisticated technological innovation” such cameras provide has been an interesting experience for him.

    “The New Photography” exhibit will be on display at the Laney College library from Thursday Oct. 24 through Nov. 15.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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