David Knoblauch is one of those kids who sees a unique pattern, a strange angle and reaches for his camera.
“I love trying to get unusual shots, weird angles, stuff like that,” says the 13-year old, who is a member of the Cheney Challengers 4-H club. David is in his seventh year of 4-H.
He said he didn’t initially think he’d be interested in 4-H, mostly because he didn’t understand what a wide range of projects were available. He definitely wasn’t interested in the subject that had captivated his older sister, Ann. “She loves bugs,” David says. “I don’t like bugs.”
It wasn’t long however, before the young homeschool student did find a passion of his own — photography.
He’s taken dozens of pictures with his Nikon camera, and he likes experimenting with different lighting, lenses and subjects.
One of his favorite pictures was one that made the 4-H Foundation calendar in 2018. It’s a close-up of the face of a deer that was shot with his Android phone.
“We were visiting the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita and this deer just walked right up like it was a pet,” David recalls. “It didn’t run or move or anything. I grabbed my phone and started taking pictures. It almost looked like it was going to say something.”
He also has a collection of photos that he shot at a raptor event, including an extreme close-up with the eye of an owl and several photos taken during a lightning storm.
“My best lightning shot was luck,” he said. “Timing is everything.”
David says he’s going through his winning photos from the Sedgwick County Fair to select which ones he will enter in the Kansas State Fair photography contest.
“He takes the greatest pictures of things that I don’t even really see,” says his mom, Renee. “I wouldn’t think to zero in on a detail like he does. He has a photo of just the hand of a gorilla wrapped around a rail. I didn’t even see that.”
He also likes landscape shots and sunsets, especially one that he took on I-70 with a wind farm in the background.
David says he has taken a few homeschool short courses in photography and plans to get more in depth when he goes to high school.
“I’m really looking forward to learning more about making videos,” he says. “I want to learn that.”