Walt Anderson Gone and Forewarned is Forearmed … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Walt Anderson Gone and Forewarned is Forearmed ...

Forewarned is Forearmed …

I will have a comprehensive SONY Camera Body User’s Guide ready by the end of January. It will be priced oppressively. That means that it will be outrageously expensive. Folks who purchased their gear using my B&H affiliate links or through Steve Elkins at Bedford Camera will receive a very generous discount. The size of the discount will be dependent on what you bought. As regular readers know, I put a tremendous amount of work into the blog and using the BAA Online Store and/or my affiliate links is the very best way to thank me and is greatly appreciated. In addition, using the links often earns you free guides and videos or substantial discounts.

Walt Anderson Gone

I learned last week of the passing of photographer Walt Anderson, a long-time friend. Walt was friendly, soft-spoken, and easy going. He was the inventor/creator of the Visual Echos Flash Extender (aka the Better Beamer). In addition, he created the Panning Ground Pod.

Walt was a former member of Riverwoods Nature Photographic Society. He was well-known throughout CACCA (Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association) and CAPS (Chicago Area Photography School both for the educational programs that he presented and his Better Beamer. He was often seen at various events with his wife Carol at his side. Walt was an award-winning photographer/inventor specializing in wildlife, landscapes and Americana subjects. In addition to being published in both books and calendars by Capstone Press, Compass International, The Creative Company, Everyday Learning, and Chicago Wilderness and Outdoor Photographer magazines, he sold prints at art shows, conducted tours and workshops in North America, and taught photography classes at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL.

Inspired by Larry West at an early 1990s workshop, Walt began exploring the capabilities of the. then-new TTL flash units that were being introduced at the time. He founded Visual Echoes Inc. to produce and market his products including the Flash X-tender™ (also marketed under the name “Better Beamer”). He received widespread recognition for the Better Beamer which is distributed worldwide. (I’m proud to add that BIRDS AS ART was the very first distributor of the Better Beamer.) He has shared tips and techniques on the use of flash with his Sunshine in your Pocket program for many conventions and clubs.

My Favorite Walt Anderson Story

I had a group at Bosque. Things were pretty good in the pre-dawn. Once the sun cracked the horizon I said, “OK, we are out of here” as I was anxious to get to the crane pools (there were two at the time). Walt said, “I am gonna stay for a while longer.” I said, “Once the sun is up, you will not make anything great.”

At lunch that day Walt showed me one of my all-time favorite Bosque images. It featured gorgeous backlit geese in gorgeous backlit yellow grasses with tons of wonderful texture … Live and learn. ps: he did not use flash 🙂

A Clarification

My response to an e-mail from Bill Hill who kindly used my links to purchase a SONY 200-600 and an. a9 II:

BH: What is “Center Zone C (tracking)?

AM: When I write tracking with a lower case “t” I am referring to “C” with the C standing for continuous tracking AF. That as opposed AF-S (for single or One-Shot) AF.

From now on I will try to remember to write stuff like this: Center Zone (C: continuous tracking) AF.

When I start talking about the various Tracking AF Modes, I will always use an upper case “T” to avoid confusion.

ps: thanks for the excellent question as I did not realize that I might be confusing folks …

with love, a

6 comments to Walt Anderson Gone and Forewarned is Forearmed …

  • avatar Lynn Stone

    Appreciate your note on Walt Anderson. I can’t imagine that I would have learned about his demise if you hadn’t posted. I didn’t know Walt well, but in my Illinois days I had occasion to do a couple of shoots with him, break bread a time or two, and purchase a Better Beamer directly from him. I certainly concur with your characterization of him, truly one of the nice guys in our profession. Lynn Stone

  • avatar Gordon Lindsay

    Happy New Year to everone, sad to hear of Walt’s passing I’m still using my “better Beamer” bought I can’t remeber how long ago, awful news on the first of the new year.

  • avatar Bill Hill

    Thank you for the clarification. So far I am very impressed with the Sony gear. I think I have the tracking set correctly now because today’s shots look great. Lots to learn with a new system. Steve Elkins was great to do business with as promised.

    Happy New Year to everyone

  • avatar Guido Bee

    And to y’all: a happy, safe and healthy 2020.

  • avatar Matt

    Somber news. Walt made an impact with his time and talents. His better beamer left quite a mark (on my flash head, as well as the industry!) May 2020 be filled with none but good news… a Happy New Year!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Happy new year, Artie. Sad to hear of Walt Anderson’s passing. ‘Tis the season (of life), I fear. Great Bosque story.

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