Niles shutterbug has seen more than a half-century through his camera lensPublished 8:52am Thursday, April 1, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
Harry Trescher still fondly remembers the first photograph he ever took. It was 1947, and he was serving in the Army and was on a weekend pass in Washington D.C. and he snapped a photo of the Washington Monument.
“I was just so pleased with my picture,” the Niles photographer said with a laugh. “I didn’t know what a good picture was then. But that got me started.”
“From there, I started taking photos of my Army buddies horsing around,” he said. “I couldn’t wait to go develop them every day.”
Those snapshots taken more than 60 years ago launched a lifetime passion for the Niles resident.
When Trescher began his career in photography as a naval photographer in the Korean War, he was using a speed graphic – the large, box-shaped press camera famous in the first half of the 20th century.
After taking art and photography classes in his hometown of Chicago, he moved to Niles to work for the Niles Daily Star taking photos and running the dark room from 1953-1957.
With the many advances in technology, Trescher’s interest in photography has been unwavering, as he has embraced digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras, more advanced lenses and photo editing software.
“Photographic art is what I call it now, because after I take it, there’s still quite a bit of work to do in Photoshop,” he said. “It opens up the avenue for some neat things.”
Now he totes a Canon 5 D digital SLR camera that he uses to capture nature shots mostly in the Michiana area, although he has taken photos in Europe and other parts of the country as well.
Some of his best work is now hanging in the Riverfront Cafe, Frame of Mind and the Hob Nob in downtown Niles and at Lake Michigan College Bertrand Campus.
Since his retirement from Allstate Insurance, Trescher has been able to focus more on his first love – photography.
But his passion for taking pictures increased after a tragic event several years ago.
“After I retired, I became a caregiver for my wife. She was quite ill,” Trescher said. “She passed away in 2003. After she passed away, I had to do something. I didn’t want to sit on the couch and waste away in six months, which is the way a lot of guys go.”
He has since invested in more camera equipment, editing software and a professional printer.
Trescher does all his editing and printing from his home for his business H. Trescher Fine Art Photography. He has won several awards, including second place for a photo taken in Niles in a Hewlett-Packard national contest.
The photo, titled “Rainbow Landing,” is of a dock overlooking the reflection of fall leaves on St. Joseph River. The paper on which it is printed makes it look like a painting.
Most of his photography focuses on botanicals, wildlife and landscapes.
“A lot of times, I’ll just be driving down the road and I’ll spot something that I really like,” he said. “If it’s something you want to look at yourself and if you can project that emotion in the picture, hopefully someone will see (the emotion) and hopefully buy it.”
His commitment to his craft for more than 50 years inspired his daughter, Karen Rubin – one of Trescher’s four children – to quit her job as a registered nurse to pursue photography. She is now an established and well-published photographer in Denver.