St. Catherine Creek NWR hosts photography workshop

Published 12:16 am Sunday, September 12, 2010

NATCHEZ — Clint Spring is not a professional photographer, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting outside and snapping some shots of nature.

Spring’s love for photography led him to the St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge Saturday to take part in the refuge’s Second Saturday event for September.

The refuge hosted a photography class that allowed participants to take some pictures on its Magnolia Trail. Spring, a Smithdale resident, said his love for Cypress swamps made St. Catherine Creek an ideal location for him to take a photography class.

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“This has been a hobby of mine for several years. I bought a 35 mm point-and-shoot camera a couple of years ago, and I gradually moved up to digital,” Spring said.

“I like Cypress swamps, so that’s one reason I came here. I’ve taken another class before, and I had already heard a lot of what (Saturday’s instructor) said, but I learned a lot about composition-type stuff.”

Lawrence Mauerman was the instructor for the class Saturday, and the Hammond, La., resident said he hosted it as part of an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“I’ve been going to Cat Island (National Wildlife Refuge) for years. I wanted to do a photography essay, and the Fish and Wildlife Service gave me access,” Mauerman said.

“They requested I teach a series of four photography classes, and this is one of those four.”

Mauerman said his main goal was to teach the participants how to create, showing them the different controls of the camera and what to use when.

“Most can point and take pictures, but we’re trying to get them off automatic and on manuel. Once they know how to do these things, they can look at the subject and make different judgments,” Mauerman said.

Although Mauerman is a professional photographer, it’s not what he does for a living, he said. As a teacher at Southeastern University, Mauerman said passing along his photography knowledge is done more out of fun than anything else.

“It’s a fun education. You’re getting to do something friendly in a relaxing environment,” he said.

And with participants having access to the refuge’s nature trails, Spring got to enjoy taking his favorite kind of pictures — just in a different location.

“I don’t do anything with people (in the photos). I just like to go off and do my own thing. They had a lot of Cypress trees here, and that’s kind of been a theme for most of my pictures,” Spring said.