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Greene’s pictures on display at Patty Turner Center

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Updated: November 15, 2013 6:24PM

DEERFIELD — Deerfield Parks Grounds Specialist John Greene considers photography a hobby, though his work looks similar to that of a professional.

The Patty Turner Center (PTC) staff initially recognized that about a year ago when they requested to use his photos of car-races and nature as the center’s first photo display.

“I was the one that hung all of the rails that they needed to hang photos on,” Greene said. “As soon as I finished, they said they needed photos to hang up.”

This month, the PTC has once again decided to make Greene its featured artist with an exhibit of some of his best sports cars, racing and nature photos.

Q: How long have you worked in the Deerfield Park District?

A: 19 years.

Q: What town do you live in?

A: I live in Wheeling with my wife Linda, daughter Jennifer and our Yorkie Terrier Kato.

Q: Where did you grow up and go to school?

A: I grew up in Northbrook, graduated from Glenbrook North High School and got my automotive degree from Triton College.

Q: What lead you to pursue an automotive degree?

A: I’ve always been interested in cars and how mechanical things work, and I learned how to read blue prints when I was about 9 or 10 because my dad was a carpenter. So I was making things with my hands from a young age and had always been good at that. Working on cars is rewarding, and something where you can actually step back and see what you’ve accomplished when you’re done.

Q. Did you ever race cars?

Actually, a friend of mine races, and I’ve been crewing with him since 1976. I had drag race cars in high school and college and then got into sports car racing in ’76. I’ve been crewing with the same guy ever since.

Q: Which of your photos are featured in the PTC this year?

A: They are mostly outdoorsy; I also have a lot of racing pictures because I’m a huge racing fan. I actually work on race cars on the weekends, in my off-time.

Q: What kind of camera did you use?

A: Sony A65.

Q: What do you like about photography?

A: It’s been a hobby since I was about 10 or 11 years old. I’ve always played with cameras; I still have all the original cameras I’ve ever had…I don’t get rid of them. Right now I have about 22 or 23 cameras, and I collect vintage cameras when I’m at flea markets and garage sales. Each camera is a little bit different. When you start using one for a while and switch to another, you have to relearn everything. The cameras now are so much easier to use, though—you can get some unique shots with just a point and shoot camera. I can take 1,000 pictures and don’t have to pay for the processing for all of them. In the old days, you go through a roll of a film, get 36 shots and hope you got 2 or 3 good ones.

Q: What inspires your photography?

A: My camera is with me every day in the car so I can take photos whenever I see something that inspires me. I like nature and cars—I try to capture a lot of colors and details. For instance, I took a really nice close-up of the day lilies at the front of the Patty Turner Center where you can see drops of dew on the petals. I like details and natural beauty.

Q: Where is your favorite place to take photos?

A: Any race track.

Q: Favorite movie?

A: “Bullitt” with Steve McQueen. It has the best car scenes.

Q: Do you have a favorite TV show?

A: “Elementary” on CBS.

Q: Favorite restaurant?

A: Real Urban Barbecue.

Q: Favorite vacation destination?

A: Wisconsin — I have a camper up there by the lake.

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