By Aila Boyd
Editor’s note: This article is the fifth in a series of articles that will feature all 14 artists that will be participating in the 2019 Open Studios-Botetourt tour on October 26 and 27. Each week leading up to the two-day event, The Herald will feature one artist – highlighting their passion for their chosen artform.
Dan Jones, a Fincastle-based photographer, loves taking photos of things that bring joy to him.
A Botetourt native, Jones and his wife moved from Blue Ridge to Fincastle roughly 20 years ago. Prior to his retirement in 2016, Jones was a family physician. He now spends his days capturing the picturesque views from his front porch and searching for striking landscapes throughout the county with his dog, Lucy. “Botetourt County is a fantastic place to do photography,” he said. He added that he particularly enjoys taking photos of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Fincastle, and the history of the county.
Jones has been passionate about photography since he was a young man. He first took up photography shortly before starting medical school. “I was living in Richmond at the time. I was out visiting different areas that I was not used to. I got a Canon film camera and just started taking pictures,” he said.
Since his early days of dabbling with photography in Richmond, Jones has largely taught himself what he now knows. He has taken some classes, which he said were beneficial, but the majority of the methods that he employs came as the result of motivation and persistence.
Growing up, his parents had a Brownie box camera that was used to take photos of family trips. Since then, his taste in cameras has evolved. He now doesn’t leave the house without his trusty Canons in tow. In total, he has three digital Canon cameras. He made the switch to digital from film roughly 15 years ago.
After spending three hours a day on average taking photos, Jones comes back to his house to process the images.
“For photographers, it’s all about the light,” he explained.
In addition to the inspiration that he draws from his surrounds in Botetourt County, Jones enjoys travel photography as well. When he retired, his wife gifted him a week-long photography course in Yosemite National Park in California in February. “The winter light was just spectacular. There were a lot of foggy mornings, sunrises breaking through the clouds, and storm clouds coming in,” he said.
When the Carilion Clinic that Jones practiced at in Daleville was first built, one of the walls in the facility featured his photographs. “The patients just loved them,” he said. To this day, he still provides photos for the clinic.
He is also a member of Gallery by the James.
Jones decided to get involved in Open Studios-Botetourt after Mark Woodie, a local artist and participant of Open Studios-Botetourt, inquired about his interest in participating in the annual event because the group was in need of a photographer. “I just thought Open Studios would be a good opportunity to show some more of my photography,” he said.
For more information about Open Studios-Botetourt, visit: https://openstudiosbotetourt.com/.