Gail S. Diederich
As a young child, I was intrigued by capturing a spontaneous moment with a camera. This is one of the first pictures I took when I was about 10 years old. Taken on my grandma's farm in the Western North Carolina mountains, it was shot with a Kodak Brownie Starflash camera that I earned by saving Blue Horse premium coupons from packages of loose leaf "notebook" paper.
For Tales of Two Gails it was necessary to learn how to restore old photos so many of the pictures in our book could be brought back to a quality acceptable for publishing. Most of the pictures in our book had hours of restoration work including this one (from front left, Gail Diederich and Gail Lester, co-authors more than 50 years after this photo!)
Photographing Barley, the possum, has been a satisfying experience. His sweet face is very photogenic and his eyes wonderfully expressive. He seems to emit a special sweetness in every photo. It was very difficult to choose the "best" ones for his book.
As a feature story news writer, I enjoy shooting my own pictures for stories I write. Many can be seen with my stories by visiting www.tampabaytimes.com and searching the archives with my name or by doing a search of my name.