INDEPENDENCE, Ky. - Editor's note: We at WCPO love to see our region through the eyes of our viewers, who are quick to share all kinds of images--from storm clouds to the Cincinnati skyline. One of our viewers is especially prolific, and we wanted to share her story with you.
When Independence resident Jan Bogy sees something amazing, she not only appreciates the splendor and the beauty, she captures it for others.
“I got my first camera after my daughter was born, so photography has been a passion of mine for well over 30 years,” she said. “I have this thing I call ‘through my eyes’ and if I see it, I want to capture it. And through the years I’ve learned to do that.”
During the past year, many WCPO viewers have seen Bogy’s work online and on the air. Although a self-professed "passionate" photographer for many years, she said this marks the first time she’s shared her photos publicly.
She said she started by sending in pictures of ominous weather conditions to WCPO to share with fellow residents, then progressed to other moments she found inspiring, especially those in nature.
“If I look outside and see something amazing, I run and grab a camera and take a picture,” she said. “I get all excited, like: 'I got it, I got it!'”
In the past, Bogy would spend an entire day out exploring and taking photos. She said that type of aggressive activity has been curtailed since her recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia. While she still takes photos daily, she said she has good days and bad days.
As an Arkansas native, Bogy said she and her husband Cecil moved to the area five years ago after he received a transfer to Kroger’s corporate offices. Recently retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arkansas as a claims adjuster, Bogy said she’s enjoying her enjoying her early retirement at the age of 56.
She said both she and her husband love everything about the area including the friendly people, the Bengals and especially the view of her yard. which she describes as breathtaking. She said it was there she took one of her favorite photos of the year.
“The shot is looking behind my house through the trees, with the sun coming up over the hill in between the houses,” she said. “I zoomed in on it and got the blues, pinks and the purples of the sky and the grays of the trees. It’s just absolutely gorgeous. That’s one of my favorite ones.”
"Picture in a picture"
While Bogy said Kentucky holds great beauty, she captured her favorite shot of all time when she visited an area known as Blue Springs in Eureka Springs, Ark.
“You can imagine the blue green water that was so spectacular in color--and to capture that with some pink flowers and things around it and the blue sky--that’s my favorite,” she said.
It’s in these shots of nature Bogy finds what she calls a picture in a picture. She explained initially it may only seem to be a photo of a tree and some leaves, but upon closer examination other things appear; for instance, a praying mantis camouflaged on the leaf. She said to get these shots, she’s literally hung over the sides of hundred foot drops with her husband hanging on to her.
“When it says, 'don’t cross this line,' I think: 'Well it’s just for one picture,'” she said. “And my husband will hold me to make sure I don’t fall off the cliff so I can get the waterfall at the right angle. So yeah, I kind of go a little overboard.”
"The joys of my life"
In addition to the hidden beauty of nature, Bogy explained she’s also enamored by natural lines she sees through her lens. She said bridges in particular make gorgeous angles contrasted by other occurring symmetry in nature. She said even in almost every instance, she sees tends to see the bigger picture in terms of intersecting lines and angles, a technique she said she finds visually striking.
“It may be Florida; it may be a pier going out to the water and then all the little rocks beside it all the way up,” she said. “When you look at the entire picture, everything will be a line in that photograph.”
While Bogy holds photography dear, she said her greatest passion is her family--including husband Cecil, daughter Corye, her son-in-law Craig and her first grandson, Jaxson, just two months old. Two more members of the family include her beloved Shih Tzu’s Chewy and Bobo.
“They’re all the joys of my life,” she said.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity and to be able to share my work with others,” she said. “I’d love to be able to what I did before, but that just depends on if it’s a good day or not. So I’m just always thankful for the good days.”