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NAFCU Communications Manager John Zimmerman received a Canon AE1 camera for a high school graduation present, which he brought with him when he backpacked for a few months across Europe, and he was hooked from then on. Zimmerman, who has upgraded his equipment over the last 23 years, is holding his first exhibit of his work through July and August at a popular Arlington, Virginia coffee house called Common Grounds. He is also trying to boost interest in his images at other local venues. Zimmerman has traveled extensively for his wife’s job (she is with the State Department), including Tunisia, Jordan, Petra, Istanbul, Gaza, and many other far-off, exotic places, and taken advantage of the photographic opportunities in those locations. “When we went overseas, I was unemployed, so most of the time I was taking pictures,” he explained. He admitted that he spent an entire day following a camel around with his camera. But it does not take foreign lands to make a great shot, even though Zimmerman is particularly proud of some of his photos of the design and artwork in Istanbul mosques and churches in Jerusalem. “I look at things as potential pictures all the time,” he said, like kids eating ice cream. “You have to become detached from what you’re doing so as not to be embarrassed about what you’re doing so you can get interesting shots,” Zimmerman advised. While he has never tried selling his work, his photos have appeared in NCUA publications, for which he used to work; NAFCU publications, including the organization’s political action committee calendar; and even had pictures published of the most recent blizzard in the Washington, D.C.-area in Credit Union Times.

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