Martha Klatt of Yosemite Lakes Park picked up a camera for the first time more than three years ago at the age of 60.
“My children were grown up and having children of their own - I was always into arts and crafts but that got boring, so I decided to find a new hobby and bought a point and shoot camera to keep busy,” Klatt said.
Klatt quickly fell in love with her new hobby, learning all she could through books, trutorials and Online photo groups, and started taking all kinds of photos - landscapes, wildlife, pets, portraits, children and portraits.
“The hobby quickly turned into a passion,” Klatt said. “I’m most happy when I’m out taking photos - My camera (a Nikon Cool Pix P900) goes everywhere with me now.”
As she began to sharpen her photographic skills, Klatt often thought how fun it would be to enter a couple of her photos in a contest.
She decided the Madera District Fair (Sept. 8 - 11) would be a good vehicle to exhibit some of her work, and hopefully come home with a ribbon. She submitted 10 photos for the fair.
Apparently she underestimated the quality of her work, because when the ribbons were announced at the fair, a surprised Klatt found out all 10 of her entries received ribbons: four blue first place ribbons ; three red (second place); and three white (third place).
“I was wishing, hoping and praying for one little blue first place ribbon,” Klatt said. “I was shocked and surprised that all 10 of my photos won ribbons. I was filled with an abundance of happiness.”
The four blue ribbons were for photos entered in the birds, flowers, people and manipulation divisions. The specific photos were of the rock band “Jumping Jack Flash,” “Silly Duck,” “Tiger Lily,” and “Waiting,” a photo of a turkey vulture perched on a tree stump.
The red ribbons went to “Tubing,” “Born in the USA,” and “Little Hummer.” White ribbons went to “Fairly Iris,” “Longboarding Fall,” and “Tiny World.’
Klatt paid 50 cents per photo to enter the fair photo contest and collected a check for $42 in total prize money.
“Of course, this was not about winning money,” Klatt said. “Prize money was not even a consideration - it was about winning those ribbons,” Klatt said.
In addition to her recent ribbons from the fair, Klatt also did some photographic illustrations for a book titled “A Snail Tale” by Karen A. Bennett of Oakhurst, a YLP neighbor. The book, published by Rosedog Publishing, is due to be released by the end of the year.
“I’d like to say, the above event would not have happened without family and friends, but mostly the Oakhurst Area Group on Facebook provided many positive and wonderful comments when I posted some photos,” Klatt said.
“I have received a lot of wonderful comments on my photos, and it was all those supporters that gave me the courage to step outside my comfort zone and enter the 10 photos in the fair photography competition,” Klatt continued. “I do believe dreams can come true.”
Klatt also displayed some of her work at a recent Art Hop event in Fresno, and although she did not win a ribbon, one her framed photos, “Jack in the Box Hungry Raven,” sold for $225.
“Again, another big surprise,” Klatt said. “I was invited to show at Art Hop by someone who saw some of my photos on my Facebook page.”
Klatt lives in YLP with her husband David, a maintenance worker at Table Mountain Casino, and their three rescue dogs and a cat. The couple have three children and nine grandchildren.
Klatt’s photos can be seen on www.facebook.com/martha.klatt.9/photos_all.