David Kopena - Optical Realities Indie Arts Initiative

I became interested in photography when I was younger and had a 35mm camera that I used to go out and take photos of trains. When the photography class was offered I decided to come and see what digital was all about. It sparked my interests so much that I went out and bought a camera of my own. And I’ve been out ever since taking photos of the city.


The art of photography has helped me really appreciate Philadelphia and its rich history. Looking through the lens has helped me see Philly in a new and unique way. I am 64 years old and a native Philadelphia resident. The class has shown me things in the city that I did not know existed. When we went to the art museum, it was the first time in my 64 years that I was inside the museum itself. I now plan on visiting it as frequently as possible.


I wish to convey in my collection of photos my interest in the beauty and art that is all around the city as well as the different styles of architecture. When you look at my photos I hope you will see what I was trying to capture. I hope they will make you want to go out and see the beauty in the city that I see. It is my intention to convey that the city is not a dangerous place to live or visit. Through photography, I want to show the city and its surroundings in a positive light.


What I enjoy most about photography is being able to catch a moment in time that will not come again. I also like to look back at my photos and remember where I was and what I saw when I was taking them. When you look at my photography I hope you will see what I was trying to capture.


The photography program has shown me to notice the small things as well as the big picture, for example, a vine growing on the side of a building or taking photos of shadows. Now I see more things when I am out. I try to get a different angle or a different view. It might make me take twice as long to get where I’m going, but that’s ok.


I would be discouraged and very sad if the program ended. I look forward to it every week. Linda’s positive outlook lifts everybody up. Hearing about her experiences makes me want to try to help somehow. For now, it is my hope that my photography can send a positive message and stir people’s curiosity and enthusiasm about the richness and diversity that the city has to offer.