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Getting to know...G.R. Davis

Wofford biology professor G.R. Davis is a photographer who also loves to write. His love of travel enhances both of those things.

davisgrAs a high school student, Davis picked up a photography magazine in the library. Fascinated by the gadgetry involved, he soon became interested in the art behind the technology. It wasn’t long before he was shooting for his high school annual. Self taught from the beginning, he learned that good photographers make for good photographs more than good equipment does.

“For a long time I thought, ‘If I just had a good camera I could take good pictures,’” says Davis. “Finally I realized that if you’re a good photographer you can do a lot with your subject even with very modest equipment.”

He learned how to see a shot before taking it, and now, with good equipment, Davis is able to create great shots, as his Web site (http://webs.wofford.edu/davisgr/) displays. His love of travel provides the opportunity, and Davis provides the skill required to capture things. What kinds of things?

“Quirky things,” he says. “I do a lot of traveling, and I seek out juxtapositions in nature. It’s satisfying to go somewhere and see a place in a way that other people didn’t see it before. So that when they see my picture they say, ‘Well I was there, but I don’t remember seeing that.’

When not teaching photography classes during Interim at Wofford, Davis has been able to travel to places like the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. He has an interesting take on teaching photography successfully.

“I know I’ve succeeded not when the kids take good pictures at the end, but when they say that they now see the world differently,” he says. “That’s the nice thing about being a photographer…whether you have your camera in hand or not, you become more observant and appreciative of the world around you.”

As he sees more of the world, Davis has developed an appreciation for writing about it. He says he mostly writes about things he knows about…family, living in the country, etc…but traveling is allowing him to put his thoughts down and expand his horizons a little bit more.

For the man from Fayetteville, N.C., that’s what it’s all about. He says he loves Wofford because the liberal arts atmosphere allows him to be a fairly serious photographer who can write a little, too.

“It’s important for my students to see that you can be a scientist and still be much more,” he says.

He certainly leads by example.