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The story behind the lens

Local photographer’s work featured at Siena

Patrick Dodson's passion for photography not only helps him make a living, but changes his view of the world. "I'm really inspired by the stories that happen in our own backyards," he said.

Patrick Dodson's passion for photography not only helps him make a living, but changes his view of the world. "I'm really inspired by the stories that happen in our own backyards," he said. Patrick Dodson

— “I’m really inspired by the stories that happen in our own backyards,” Dodson said.

Dodson recently got to meet some of his favorite photographers at the Eddie Adams Workshop, a four-day event in the Catskills that selects 100 photographers through submitted portfolios from around the world. Top photography professionals gather with students to teach and inspire.

After applying for two years, Dodson, who received his undergraduate degree in photojournalism from the University at Albany, was accepted.

“It’s the number one thing for a photojournalist to go to when they’re young … the best thing to ever happen to me,” he said.

One photographer at the workshop, John Moore, showed a project he was working on involving the mortgage crisis in America.

“He’s following around small town sheriff departments as they go and kick people out of their homes. Out of everything I saw all weekend, that really stuck with me the most. You can film more of a personal connection,” he said. “If there’s one thing I learned from (the workshop), it’s that you need to come up with your own projects and do them on your own time.”

Dodson spends his days shooting photos all over the area for The Gazette. Some of his photos, like the coverage of last year’s hurricane, have been printed in several publications including The New York Times, New York Post and Vanity Fair. Dodson has also won awards, including a couple “Photos of the Month” from the New York Associated Press.

Outside of his job, Dodson tries to stay active with his photography. He has a new cat that he said he likes to take photos of. He also finds his way around the Albany music scene and shoots musicians and his friends.

“I think the story is here. Lately, I’m realizing that I’m inspired by the things that I see every day. (The workshop) really inspired me that I really love the stories around here. Upstate New York is a really incredible place,” he said. “It may have to do with that I’m not from around here. (But) I think we live in a really unique time. I have a story that needs to be told.”

Three other photographers from the area, Vince Giordano, Laura Galzer and Joe Putrock, also have their work showcased in “Focus on Four” and are each giving a talk on their photography. Dodson will speak at Siena College during a class from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. in Foy Hall 106 on Thursday, Nov. 1.

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