By Marj Frew
Wayne Fuchs can usually be found working at the family business, Fuchs Locker, at his “nine-to-five” day job. That job is usually more like “seven-to-six,” but he also somehow finds time to devote to his other life-long passion, photography.
“I’m not sure when I started, but since I was a teenager I always had a camera around, as I always wanted to share what I was seeing through my eyes. I have a tote full of pictures from when I was young, and compared to today’s pictures, those pictures are terrible quality.”
Wayne’s observations about one of his favorite categories, wildlife photography, are closely related to the beauty of our rural area. “When I’m out with the wildlife I can put everything else out of my mind, and just focus on the great outdoors. Total solitude. There is so much out there to see, and most people have no clue that it is even around our area.” Wayne explained that he and his wife, Jeanene, spend a lot of time in the Badlands and Black Hills on the weekends. “And I spend a lot of time on our backroads of Bennett County when we stay home.”
Wayne and Jeanene also spend a great deal of time in the summer at the regional drag racing venues, and he naturally includes his photography skills at the tracks. “Since I became involved with racing, I created a racing family at each track I go to. I spend a lot of my summer weekends at Sturgis Dragway, Thunder Valley Dragway in Marion, and Oahe Speedway in Pierre. I have always loved race cars, and what a great time of photographing drag races and their families. I have met so many GREAT families at the race tracks that it is hard to keep track of who is who. These people really appreciate my pictures as they are so busy on race day that they don’t have a chance to get pictures, or memories, for themselves.”
The equipment Wayne uses has developed over the years, with the improvements in digital photography. “I use Canon digital cameras. I have an 80D and a 7D Mark ll. I basically use a 150 to 600 zoom for my wildlife pictures. I use different smaller lenses at the race tracks.”
Wayne challenges himself to try to be better each time he heads out to take pictures. One of his biggest enjoyments is when someone says, “Did you really take that picture?” Over the years he has learned that it is both easy and hard at the same time. “I try to get as many pictures of the same subject as I can to try and sort out what I think is the best one. The hardest part to me is editing photos, as I do all my own editing. In 2019, I took 33,402 racing pictures, and over 12,000 wildlife photos.”
One of Wayne’s biggest supporters is Jeanene, especially with updating equipment. “She always says ‘If you need it, you better get it.’ She goes with me a lot of the time and is getting pretty darn good at taking pictures as well. I also get a lot of support from many people out there, thank-you all.”
Wayne’s artistic photos which have been framed by him, can be seen locally at LaCroix’s True Value, and he will soon have some at the Crossroads Motel. He also makes wildlife calendars that he sells each fall.
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