Member Bios

Ham Hayes

Ham Hayes

Retired from a career in systems engineering and IT, I live in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Bellingham, Washington. Besides photography, my hobbies include travel, birding, sailing and volunteer teaching middle and high school students photographic arts and storytelling.

Going back to my days in to college I had been a casual travel photographer using Nikon film cameras. In 2009 a birding trip to Costa Rica fueled my desire to photograph birds in flight, and that prompted me to get into digital photography. My equipment of choice is the Nikon D500 and a variety of Nikkor and Tamron lenses ranging from 10 mm to 600 mm focal lengths. For post processing, I use DXO PhotoLab 3.

I belong to two local camera clubs and have just joined PSA. I’m interested in developing skills in land/sea/cityscape, macro and people photography.

RH Samarakone

RH Samarakone

I am Sam from Sri Lanka. My entry into serious photography was in 2007 after many years of using point and shoot cameras for family outings etc, and a failed attempt at understanding and using an SLR Camera, which I gave up in frustration. I was somewhat relieved when digital cameras came in early 2000, mainly because of the fact I didn't have to wait till a film was developed to know if I had ruined it or not!

Instant gratification of seeing the image on the LCD screen rekindled my interest on photography. With my first digital camera an Olympus point and shoot bought in 2004, I started to appreciate the power of photography. In 2007, I invested in a Canon 350D DSLR camera, and have not looked back since.

I have predominantly been a Canon shooter, having gone through Canon 350D, 40D 50D, 7D, 5D MkII, 5D MkIII, 7D MkII and now my main camera is a Canon EOS R. I have also invested in a FujiFilm XT3 for its form factor, and absolutely sharp images.

I joined the Photographic Society of Sri Lanka PSSL in 2007 where I followed a basic course in photography. I had the privilege of serving as the Hon Secretary of PSSL for three years, and its President in 2015.

I am mostly self-taught in most photography related aspects, and using Photoshop. My areas of preference is Art Photography, portraiture, monochrome and creative work.

My wife Kauminie and son Praveen share the passion I have for photography. Currently I am retired, having worked in the fields of engineering, marketing and management. Now, I spend my retirement managing a camera store which I set up with my wife and son six years ago.

I have had a few successes in competitions, but, not consistent. I believe that there are areas I need to improve on and am looking forward to receive feedback from the study groups in PSA to sharpen my skill set.

Group Admin

Fred Giese

Fred Giese

Fred was born and raised in Chicago, Il.. At the tender age of 8, Fred was given his first camera, a brownie, by his grandfather, Frederick F Giese an award-winning Chicago Tribune News Photographer. From then on, many weekends were spent tagging along with his grandfather on "special" assignments geared to the delight of an 8 to 12-year-old. During this time, fred was taught all the fundamentals of Photography including the darkroom and by age 10 was developing his own rolls of film.
Fast forward to 1983, Fred moved to Mesa, AZ after finally having enough of Chicago winters. He immediately fell in love with the beauty and the warmth of the area, settling into a life of work and then camping or hiking on his days off. Just before Christmas of 1998 he met a lady who would become his wife the next year. As a Christmas present in 99 she gave him his first Digital Camera and has steadily been shooting ever since.

In 2005 Fred and his wife, Georgianne, moved to a 55+ community called Sun Lakes AZ. There was a camera club there which Fred immediately joined. Shortly thereafter, Georgianne got her own camera and joined the club. During the following years both Fred and Georgianne held offices in the club with Fred becoming President and Georgianne becoming Competition Chair and Webmaster.

Fred and Georgianne left AZ in 2015 to move to Myrtle Beach, SC to be closer to family and found a camera club close by. They joined Coastal Carolina Camera Club in 2016, became a board member, and joined Tidelands Photography Club in 2017, becoming a board member there. He was also a member of the Seacoast Art Guild.

Fred has won numerous awards within his clubs, the Arizona Camera Club Council, the Arizona State Fair, Seacoast Art Guild and the Photographic Society of America.

Currently Fred is enjoying photographing Nautical subjects as well as trying his hand at Creative Altered Reality images.

Shirley Ward, FPSA, EPSA

Shirley Ward, FPSA, EPSA

My love of photography really began with my first slide camera (Argus C3, which I still have) in 1952. However, I was forced into the digital world about 5 years ago, “a’kicking and a’screaming” when slide processing became too expensive…. A Nikon D200 was the transition.

With photoshop (Elements) I learned how to correct/improve images and to create entirely new ones. Creativity is my passion… taking the simple and ordinary and making it totally different. Macro is another real challenge, but my Panasonic Lumis camera does a fantastic job. I rarely use my D200 as it has become too heavy to hold, except on a tripod…

I have given a number of workshops at the PSA conferences, including print etching (which was on the cover of the Journal in 2002) and the techniques of Color Key, also an article in the Journal. I have also presented many slide and digital programs at the conferences and PSA Chapter meetings, everything from Travel, Creative, to Street ART 101 in San Francisco. I have traveled to 51 countries getting some very unusual and award winning images… Displayed on a wall are 31 Best of Show ribbons from our District Fair along with 11 PSA Best of Show medals.

I received my APSA in 2001, the FPSA in 2007, and the EPSA in 2012, with 5 stars in Color, Nature, and prints, 4 in Travel, one in Photojournalism. I have chaired the San Joaquin Valley Int. Ex. since 2001. I have held a number of offices and/or directors in the Color Division of PSA, including Secretary, Editor, the Portrait Contest, the Photo Essay Contest (for 10 years) and am currently the Travel Aide Service Director for the Travel Division. I have judged clubs and the Internationals (Color and Travel) for over 30 years. A number of my images have been shown in PSA’s Gallery of Nations, some creative, some travel, some just color…

I really love sharing new ideas and techniques with others and helping them become better photographers. I look forward to the constructive comments on my images…some you will like, and others you may not, but that is the learning process….

Alessia Morabito

I am Alessia from New York, and my love for photography started when my brother showed me his own pieces. I’m a junior in high-school, and i’m in my 3rd year of photography. Photography has been my own personal way of expressing any creative thought I get. A lot of my work that you’ll see is self portraiture, most of the time is very somber, and will make you question what the photo represents. I heard about PSA from my teacher, in which I received an honorable mention award for one of my photos in 2021. I aspire to go into photography for college following high-school. However, I still have a lot more to learn. I’m thrilled to be apart of PSA and can’t wait to show all my pieces!