Judge Bios

Truman Holtzclaw

From 35 years of serious photography Truman has perfected the skills to artfully blend his teaching experiences, biology background and his love of nature to create a collection of more than 140,000 beautiful images. Truman enjoys most all photographic endeavors which include attending & presenting workshops, leading field trips, competing & judging in local and international competitions, and leading commercial photo tours. In addition, he photographs individuals, groups, special events, weddings, banquets, architecture and sporting events.

From the beginning of his photographic exploits, Truman has always been fascinated with wide angle lenses and their results. His first wide angle lens was an inexpensive 20mm “Spiratone” which brought him much early success in his local camera club and later on in the P.S.A. competitions. Today his two favorite lenses are the Canon 16 – 35 mm and his newest, the Sigma 12-24 mm which he uses with a full frame Canon D5 Mark lV.

At his retirement in 2001, after 34 years as a Biology Teacher, he started his own photographic company called “A Beautiful Image”. He is past president of the Sacramento Audubon Society, Sierra Camera Club and the Gold Rush Chapter of the Photographic Society of America. He also has worked as a Park Naturalist for the State of California.

Truman is a world traveler. Destinations include Canada, Africa, China, Europe, Japan and South America. He has traveled throughout the United States including Alaska and Hawaii. His favorite location for photography still remains the western United States.


Susan Bovey

Artists have a sense of seeing everything in life as art: form, line, contrast, composition, color, impact, light. Seeing this way makes me grateful for this vision to see beauty, even in everyday scenes.

It is my hope and purpose to capture these scenes and share them with others to enjoy.

My Father instilled a respect for Nature by taking our family on many camping trips, and I started photographing in the 1980’s. Encouraged, I took photo and darkroom classes at the Junior College and joined the local camera club.

I had to make the transition to Digital Photography around 2003, but I love the ability to work darkroom magic with computer photo processing


Jim Cunnigham

I have been member of the Merced Camera Club, the San Joaquin Valley Camera Club Council, and the photographic Society of America. I show my images in photographic competitions locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. I love to travel to unusual places and primarily photograph wildlife and landscape. These locations include Halo Bay, Alaska for up close and personal grizzly bear images, staying on a converted tug boat. The Arctic for Polar Bear and Walrus going into the Arctic Circle to the pack ice on an old Russian research ship. To the Hideout Ranch in Wyoming for working cowboys images with great background shots. I have also done numerous rafting trips on the Grand Canyon (I crewed for Grand Canyon Expeditions for many years) and snowmobiling ventures into Yellowstone National Park. Have made several trips into the American Southwest to photograph Utah’s Canyonlands, Paria Wilderness, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, Hunts Mesa and the Island In The Sky area. Northern Arizona has some beautiful areas like Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and the red rock country of Sedona. We have photographed many special events such as the Albuquerque hot Air Balloon Fiesta and the Day of The Dead Celebration in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

To get many of these images you have to go into these areas to get the animals in their natural environment. You have to be willing to get up early and stay late to get the great images. The right light is what makes the good image great.

Photography is just a hobby, our real life is raising commercial beef cattle. I have a cow/calf operation in the central valley of California. The ranch was established in 1851 so it is one of the older ranches in the state.

We have had images published in many local magazines, state tourism magazines and nation magazines like Cowboys and Indians, Range and Audubon. Recently one of my images was chosen for the cover of a new book called “Cowboys and Critters” Some of our wildlife images were featured in a book by David Middleton and Scott Bourne titled “Captivating Wildlife”.

I have judged many local camera clubs, fairs, and international competitions and made presentations to numerous groups and organizations.


David Robertson

My interest in photography began my freshman year of college in 1968 where I had access to a darkroom. I converted from film to digital in 2003 with the Nikon D100 at a cost of $2,000 for slightly more than 6 MP on a cropped sensor. Now I am a dedicated Nikon, Leica, and Pentax (medium format) shooter, depending on the nature of the shoot.

I have been a Lightroom workshop instructor for the Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures at various locations around the country and I am currently a workshop instructor at Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento, California, where I have taught over thirty courses in Lightroom, digital printing, black and white conversion software, and studio lighting.

Besides teaching, I have also been accepted into over fifty juried competitions, from Sacramento to Paris and Berlin. I have had the honor of appearing in the gallery at the Center for Photographic Art eight times since 2012 in both the annual members’ exhibit and the international exhibit, both of which are limited to 45 prints selected out of well over 1,000 entries each time.

In addition to juried exhibits, I have had solo and group exhibits in the Pence Gallery, Davis, CA, the Blue Line Gallery, Roseville, CA, the main gallery at Viewpoint Photographic Art Center (twice), and the Grants Pass Museum of Art in Oregon.

Finally, I have judged local photography competitions for the last five years, many of them multiple times. It is important that my biases toward photographic approach are known. In 2007, Jay Maisel, a friend and famous New York photographer, described my images as conveying solitude, but not loneliness. I agreed immediately, and I have not been able to come up with a better description since then. I want the viewer of my work to draw a sense of comfort from my captures, but at the same time I am attracted to natural and man-made design.

For all of these years, I have worked hard to create strong compositions and have only lately come to the realization that the strongest composition suffers if it does not also convey some emotion. That is my current quest. What I love about photography is that it is a continuing journey of discovery and growth, and the destination is not nearly as important as the travel.

Dean Taylor

Dean describes himself as a passionate serious photographer who enjoys all types of photography, and loves the creativity involved in “playing” with digital images in various photo-editing programs.

He purchased his first 35mm film camera in the late 1970’s, and joined various camera clubs in the early 1980’s. He is a 34 year member of the Photographic Society of America. Over the last forty years his passion for photography has led him on numerous photographic adventures including a wonderful month traveling around Italy and three different month-long adventure trips to India. He has traveled extensively photographing throughout the United States, but states that his favorite photo-destination within the United States has centered mainly around the red-rock country of southern Utah and northern Arizona.

The majority of his photographic knowledge has come from participating in numerous workshops and seminars, and attending local camera club meetings, listening to and learning from guest judge’s critiques of his own and other’s images. He feels that whatever insight and photographic artistry he has accrued is a direct result of those sharing experiences.

His experience as a photography judge includes judging for numerous camera clubs, camera club councils, county fairs, local photography shows, fine-arts organization’s gallery shows, and various Photographic Society of America sponsored international exhibitions.

Tom Frazier

Photo Education
Numerous workshops with Ernest Braun, 1981-1998. Workshops with Galen Rowell, David Cavagnaro, Dewitt Jones, Freeman Patterson and Robert Holmes. Associate in Arts Degree, Photography, Merced College, 1992.

Workshop/Teaching Experience
A Day in the Life of Merced – 1988
A Weekend in Merced County – 1989
It Happened at the Fair – 1990
We the People – 1992
Foothill Fantasy – 1992
The Wildflower’s of Hite Cove – 1993, 1994
Discover the High Sierra
Discover Lady Lake
Dinkey Lakes in Early Spring
Discover Death Valley – 1992 (Co-taught with Ernst Braun)
The Magic of Asilomar – 1992 (Co-taught with Ernst Braun)
Springtime Fantasy – 1995 (Co-taught with Ernst Braun)
Cattle Drive Workshop – 1999 (Co-taught with Jim Cunnigham)

Volunteer Experience
Earth Day Slide Shows – 1992, 1993, 1994
Judged Fairs, HightSchool Photo Competitions, camera clubs – 1992 – 2018
Presenter at Fotoclave – 1998
Presenter at Gold Rush Chapter, Sacramento, CA – 1999 & 2008
President, San Joaquin Camera Club Council – 2006 to 2009
Chairman Fotoclave – 2009 & 2012
Digital Chairman – San Joaquin Int’l Exhibition – 2010 to 2016

Merced College Art Gallery
Chowchilla Art Stampede
Coyote Point Museum
Lindsay Museum
Turlock City Art Commission
The Sea Ranch – 1996, 1997, 1999
UC Merced
Merced Historical Museum
Merced Multicultural Art Center

CA State University Stanislaus Turlock CA
BS Computer Science, Cum Laude
Merced College, Merced CA
AA Photography