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Huber's stayed behind lens as fair volunteer

Tom Huber showed an Ellsworth Visitors’ and Residents’ Guide on which he had a cover photo. Huber has volunteered as a photographer for the Pierce County Fair for the last six years. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk).

Once Tom Huber got a camera in his hands, there was no stopping him.

Huber caught the photo “bug” while finishing up college classes, he said Friday. From recording lots of family occasions it led him to community service efforts such as photographing Miss Prescott several times and even a Miss Pierce County.

He’s been a volunteer photographer for the Pierce County Fair the last six years, he said.

“(Fair Coordinator) Ann (Webb) and my wife were talking one day about their need for someone to take pictures and she volunteered me for it,” he said, referring to spouse Ginny, who’s the fair secretary.

His main project has been supplying photos for the annual Ellsworth Visitors’ and Residents’ Guide, as evidenced by copies he shared last week. Assigned to shoot young fair exhibitors with their animals, he got a picture of a youth with a heifer that ended up on the cover of one edition. A collage of various fair scenes on a two-page inside spread featured several of his photos.

The side of another page is filled by his vertical shot of a rider on a horse that reared up on hind legs. Huber said the result was unplanned.

“I was just standing there and noticed the horse was getting restless,” he said, explaining the two-shot burst accessory on his digital camera captured the animal part way up the first time, then fully upright the second for a successful outcome.

The photographer said he sometimes stages a picture, indicating a reflection in wrap-around sunglasses as the subject of another photo in one issue is an example. He recruited Webb’s daughter to wear the glasses and had some help from the computer software Photoshop to clear up the image in those specs: the Round Barn on the fairgrounds.

His initial reaction to modern technology in the photo industry was “I didn’t like it,” he said, though having to admit the process was less expensive. However, he’s since grown accustomed to the industry change from film to digital, noting the camera he uses today somewhat resembles the old Kodak Brownie, in that it’s simple and straightforward to use.

“I set the camera on a tripod and used a long exposure,” he said in telling how he photographed a Ferris wheel in operation at night without blurring it. The digital equipment is handy for checking what develops and trying again, if not satisfied, he added.

Not just fair attractions such as the demolition derby, motocross racing and the llama judging are in his focus, the Diamond Bluff area resident said. He carries a camera in his pocket while pursuing a favorite pastime--fishing.

For more please read the July 31 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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