Eugene’s Photography Progression

Eugene A. Brown purchased his first camera in 1956 while visiting Washington D.C. as a member of the Club Boulevard Elementary School Safety Patrol. It was a Kodak Brownie and cost about $10. This was the beginning of his love of photography and it continues today.

As a senior at Durham High School, his debate coach urged him to get out of Durham, which at that time was a sleepy textile and tobacco town of 50,000, and “go West young man.” His first summer in 1962 was spent working in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming as a house boy at the Old Faithful Inn. Brown had never been West and was overtaken by the magnificent scenery. Unfortunately, his bunk was next to the horse barn and when the wind came from the south his cabin was engulfed. “The only thing I couldn’t photograph was the stench coming from the barn” he remembers.

The next summer found Brown and his Minolta SRT 101 camera in Grand Teton National Park,Wyoming working as a guide on the Snake River. The Tetons, noted for their scenic beauty, are often called America’s “Little Switzerland”. Understandably, it is a mecca for photographers. The ten summers he spent in Jackson Hole are filled with poignant memories and picturesque photographs.

As a present for graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, Brown purchased a Canon Rebel. After teaching prep school in New England, he worked on Capitol Hill as Press Secretary and speech writer for a young, unknown U.S. Senator from Delaware, Joe Biden. It was there that he met Signe Ahmuty and they were married in 1975. Traveling became their hobby, hence the collections of photos from Russia, the Baltics,Western Caribbean, Japan, Colorado, Alaska, and Topsail Beach, N.C.

Due to failing eyesight, Brown has been forced to use auto focus on most of his subjects. The Pentax FX5 was a favorite. Never one to change for the sake of changing, he waited for the price drops and enhanced technology before he went digital about ten years ago. And he’s never looked back. Past digital cameras include the Nikon D80, several Panasonic Lumix “point and shoot,” and his current prize, the Pentax Kx with a Sigma DC 18-250mm power lens. A recent investment in a new IMAC computer will be used for enhancing images, but for the most part the vast majority of the photographs in this collection are the originals.

In summary, the Brown collection epitomizes the life of a photographer with “a good eye” for composition, character, and uniqueness of subject matter… of vivid photographs well taken, and a enriched life well-lived.