“I have had a few successes. But this is my best, so far,” he said.
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Wilder can trace his interest in photography back to his childhood.
“My dad was always taking pictures, so my interest grew from that experience,” he said. “For years, all I took were black-and-white images that I developed and printed in my own darkroom. When digital came along, I began doing more color work.”
Wilder said his family moved to Washington County in 1960 and he graduated from South Hagerstown High School in 1969. After living near Washington, D.C., from 1970 to 1978, he moved back to this area, settling in South Washington County, where he lives today.
Wilder has a studio in Boonsboro, he said, and, recently, has focused on portrait and fine art figure work.
“I have also done many landscapes,” he said, including two Antietam Battlefield images that were commissioned by Meritus Medical Center.
“These are true darkroom silver gelatin prints taken with my 2 1/4(-inch) Haselblad,” he added.
The owner of Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, Wilder admitted he might be considered a professional photographer, but he added, “It’s not my main job.”
For the past several years, he has done the author photo on the back covers of novels written by his wife, award-winning writer Nora Roberts.
“This has moved me up to pro status, but I don’t actively seek photo work. I don’t do weddings, although I’ve been asked many times,” he said.
When the Antietam Review was being published, Wilder said he was a frequent contributor. He also has had a show of his figure work at his studio and offers samples of his photography at Turn the Page Bookstore and Gifts Inn Boonsboro.
Wilder said he feels honored to have been chosen as a winner in the Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon.
“I have always counted the Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon as one of the most prestigious in the area,” he noted.
But don’t expect him to rest on his laurels.
“I plan on experimenting with this light painting technique more in the future,” he said. “I have many ideas.”
If you go ...
WHAT: 80th annual Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon
WHEN: Opening reception and awards ceremony, 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27; Show open Saturday, Jan. 26, through Sunday, April 14
WHERE: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, off Virginia Avenue, Hagerstown
CONTACT: For more information, go to www.wcmfa.org.