JOLIET – John Kessler points to a photograph featuring three deer.
He’d caught them by chance one afternoon while walking through Hammel Woods in Shorewood, between 2:30 and 3 p.m., he said. Kessler said he also has photographed deer at the Rock Run Preserve in Joliet.
Kessler, 65, of Joliet loves nature, and he loves photographing it. Forty-five of his images fill one wall of the Book and Bean Cafe in Joliet. They will remain for viewing through the end of April.
And they’re all for sale.
But Kessler doesn’t limit himself to deer.
“I just go out, and if I see something, I take a picture of it,” Kessler said. “I look for color, shape, texture, movement, abstract or any combination. After I shoot, I come home and check my camera. If I think it’s good, I’ll have it printed. The subject is not important. There’s so much variety out there.”
Photography is a retirement hobby for Kessler, although he did some shooting when he was young. He even took two photography classes in college.
“My brother and I had a darkroom in our basement,” Kessler said, “and we developed our own black and whites.”
Kessler mostly spent time outside, fishing, birding and “bumming around.” Today, Kessler especially likes to walk around the various sites belonging to the Forest Preserve District of Will County, where he shoots many of his images.
But Kessler stresses he is not a professional photographer.
“I’m just an old man trying to take good pictures,” Kessler said.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: John Kessler’s nature photography exhibit
WHEN: Through April 30
WHERE: Book and Bean Cafe, 3395 Black Road, Joliet (inside the Joliet Public Library building)
INFORMATION: Call Book and Bean Cafe at 815-725-8859 or John Kessler at 815-710-0784.
WISH LIST: “I really don’t have one. I like to shoot anything that’s out there.”
KNOWLEDGE GAINED: I’ve learned how to use a digital camera, and I think I’m doing better as I go along.”
WORDS OF WISDOM: “Just go out and take pictures of whatever you feel like taking. Some people have to find what it is they like to take.”