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Photographer gives nature new meaning

When John Preston looks through the lens of his camera, he sees and feels something beyond the patterned bark of an oak tree or the rippling of green grass.

What drew me was the connection I was able to feel with nature as I was on my own, wandering through woods somewhere trying to take in what was being offered to me and what I was able to capture with the camera, said Preston, who has been shooting mostly nature photography for 20 years, specializing in macro or close up shots.

Preston forms his own relationship with his photographs, and snapping shots is often a personal moment for him, but he said he also likes to see how what others see or feel when they view his work.

"I like to see their reaction and whether they see the same things I see. Especially doing macro work, it will kind of lead to more abstract work," said Preston. "I see and find significance in certain things, so to have other people see it, see their take on it, is interesting. I enjoy sharing something that brought me satisfaction and hope it gets passed on to other people."

Preston, a kindergarten teacher in Saratoga Springs, will allow others to experience his photos at two venues this month. The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library will display work from its Digital Photography Club for all of May as part of Saratoga Art Council's "Art in Public Places" exhibition. Preston's work will also appear in the gallery on the second floor of the Jonesville Store in Clifton Park.

The Digital Photography Club first got together around the end of 2008, bringing amateur and semiprofessional photographers out of the woodwork to gather and share a common hobby. Preston is one of the founding members and said the club meets on the first and third Thursday of each month to swap techniques, samples and offer critique.

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