Under the lens: Dan Dry – life behind a camera

When I first started working at the Athens Messenger as a photographer, many, if not all, of the old timers on staff would say, “Do you know about Dan Dry? He is a great world renowned photographer that use to work at the Messenger.” Then I would see people at Ohio University. They would say, “Yes, Dan Dry, one of the best! And he started at the Messenger.” At one point, I spoke with G. Kenner Bush, publisher of the Athens Messenger. He talked of Dan Dry. With humble adoration he said something like, “Dan Dry, we were lucky to have him.” I was getting more annoyed with Dan Dry with every mention of his name. Then I saw his photos and instantly joined the Dan Dry Fan Club. All of Dry’s recognitions and awards are well deserved. He has won over 400 awards in his field including National Photographer of the Year.

Having a great photographic eye and being at the right place at the right time, are just a couple of qualities that make a good photographer. Taking a picture that will tell a story and that will express emotion come from a great photographer. Dan has all the above qualities. Hard work is one of Dan’s keys to success and he has worked hard his whole life.

He started his photographic adventures during his high school years under the guidance of his father, Claud Dry. As a student at Athens High School, Dan was a photographer for the school paper, Matrix, and the yearbook. He was staff photographer at the Athens Messenger while studying photojournalism at Ohio University. He spent several of his early years perfecting his craft at The Louisville Courier. This paper was, at the time, one of the top newspapers in the country and had an emphasis in photography. He has traveled the world while working for National Geographic Magazine. Though the adventures were many at Nat Geo, Dan grew tired of living of of suitcase and is currently making a big success in the corporate and advertising end of photography. Dan’s picture of “The Old Shoe Shine Man” is from 1982. It looks like his portrait is from his high schooldays.

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