Donohoe, Sparks get the picture

James Donohoe, left, and Wilma Sparks will show a selection of their photos in an exhibition starting Thursday, July 2 at the Gallery on High, 5 E. High St., London. They are life-long photographers who capture the world around them.

To be a good photographer, a person has to pay attention to the world around them. James Donohoe and Wilma Sparks definitely do that.

They will share a selection of their photographs in a Photography Exhibit, which will open Thursday, July 2, at the Gallery on High, 5 E. High St., London. Thirty-five matted and framed prints, in various sizes, will be on display through the month of July.

Of the two photographers, Sparks, who grew up in Hilliard, displays more than half. A lover of color and nature, Sparks has captured the beauty of a variety of flora, some with visiting insects. She uses a digital camera and operates it in manual mode.

It’s a far cry from her first camera she acquired in the late ’70s, one for which she redeemed books of trading stamps accumulated from shopping trips to Big Bear stores in Columbus.

As her equipment improved, Sparks entered contests and began to receive recognition. She has won numerous awards at the Madison County Fair including a “best of show.”

In November 2014, a photo she captured in winter in London was chosen to be calendar art for the calendar produced by the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging.

Donohoe, who spent much of his early life in South Charleston, has been “serious” about photography since age 19, when he acquired his first Nikon camera. Wanting more control over his images, he learned how to develop and process his own film and prints.

By 1972, Donohoe had moved to Phoenix, Ariz. where he found the landscape an unlimited palette for his art. With connections to the entertainment industry, he was able to shoot freelance spot assignments. He also illustrated articles he had written for “minor” publications.

Donohoe became acquainted with Sparks when he returned to Ohio in 1982. Together they have worked to further refine their photographic skills.

Donohoe’s photos have also won first, second and third place ribbons at the Madison County Fair.

Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.