Construction Worker Reignites His Passion For Photography In Retirement, Featured In Special Exhibit

A construction worker-turned-photographer is one of many seniors to be featured in a special exhibit at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.

John Straub worked in the construction industry for 45 years, but he never forgot his first love photography.

“Since I can remember, I’ve had an interest in the arts,” Straub explained. “I have an uncle who was a painter and another couple of uncles who were pianists. My mother who was a pianist. So I was always kind of exposed to that.”

Straub was so in love with photography that he went to Ohio State University and graduated there.

“I transferred from the engineering department to the fine arts department and earned the first BFA in photography from Ohio State University,” he explained. “They don’t even have the department or the degree anymore.”

Straub ended up working in construction because he wouldn’t make a living in photography. However, once retired, he returned to his first love.

“It’s kind of a bittersweet thing because I mean, you can take thousands of images and not be satisfied with any of them. You can take one image and say, ‘This is it. ‘, you know?”

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Straub is part of the “Forever Young Exhibit” at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. This is the fourth year that the museum has highlighted the work of photographers aged 55 and over.

“There are a lot of very interesting intentions in the creation of photography at this time,” said Zora Carrier, executive director of the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.

For Straub, it’s a chance to express himself through his art.

“Photography starts with the eyes. You have to see the picture before you take it. So my eyes were always working. I was always looking at things, like a boy would be a nice picture.”

Straub is happy to show his talent as a photographer to the world.

The exhibition runs from April 8 to June 5 and costs a small fee to enter.

Alice F. Ponder