Beyond the white lab coat

Physician shares his passion about photography

Kile Brewer
Posted 4/5/17

ST. JOHNS, Fla. – For years of traveling and vacations, Doug Roane subscribed to a certain mindset – “Why bother taking a picture when you can just buy a postcard?”

Roane, like a lot of …

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Beyond the white lab coat

Physician shares his passion about photography

Posted

ST. JOHNS, Fla. – For years of traveling and vacations, Doug Roane subscribed to a certain mindset – “Why bother taking a picture when you can just buy a postcard?”

Roane, like a lot of dads, stuck to family photos with a small camera, but during the advent of digital photography he decided to try a digital camera, which eventually led him to ditch the postcards and start making his own pictures.

“In about 2005 digital SLR cameras were new on the market,” Roane said. “I got a little Canon Rebel because I wanted to take better quality family photos.”

After he started shooting with that first camera, he started to get more interested in the medium. Eventually he was reading about photography and camera gear. He bought magazines, and even took a six-week online course on digital photography.

The Orange Park rheumatologist was then living in Montana after a stint in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in California, where he met his wife before returning to Montana – the state where he grew up. After discovering a love for photography, the state where he had spent most of his life became his playground.

Roane visited his favorite Montana landscapes, Glacier National Park, and the Beartooth Mountains, making every picture he could as he started to grow into a landscape photographer.

“I tried to take photos that were beyond the postcard shot,” Roane said. “What I really love is getting those pictures that are out of the way.”

The journey for those out-of-the-way photographs led Roane on several backpacking trips to remote places of frequently visited mountain ranges and national parks. When backpacking, Roane is able to remove himself from the beaten path and see nature the way it once was, free of tourists – and other photographers.

In addition to his travels around Montana, Roane and his wife and three children, have taken several vacations since his photographic awakening. He began to look at family vacations as prime opportunities to follow his passion.

“I always made a point to wake up early when we would go on vacation,” Roane said. “Sunrise was my time [to shoot], while the family slept.”

These trips, to places such as Alaska, Hawaii, Virginia, California and Oregon, yielded some of Roane’s favorite photographs.

“I love nature, I love being outdoors, and I love seeing beautiful scenery,” Roane said. “I try to compose a 3D scene into a 2D picture that somebody feels like they can walk right into. [Photography] creates a mood, a sense of place and presence.”

Through posting to his personal website, www.dougroanephotography.com, on the social media photo sharing site Flickr, and submitting to some of the photo magazines he reads, Roane has had work published. Several of his photos have appeared in magazines, such as Outdoor Photographer and Popular Photography, as well as some digital camera publications in the United Kingdom. He was even contacted by a hotel in Billings, Montana about hanging some printed photographs throughout the hotel to showcase his work documenting the local landscape.

Roane is relatively new to Florida, moving just across the river from Green Cove Springs last July after moving his practice to Orange Park. His wife, a self-proclaimed California girl, wanted to get away from the Montana snow after 17 years, and they found their home in Northeast Florida. Now that the family is settled in its new habitat, Doug hopes to get out and start exploring all the photographic possibilities in Florida.

“Florida is very different from Montana,” he said. “Montana has very wide angle views, but here it is much different. I would love to visit the Everglades, or any swampy areas with cypress trees, and I will have to try some of the areas on the coast.”

Roane expects to continue taking his camera on trips into the future, even after he has finished his career in medicine. Since buying that camera more than 10 years ago, he has found his true calling.

“This is a passion for me, I wish I could spend more time shooting,” Roane said. “I want to be able to take photos when I want to. I’m definitely looking forward to getting out more in Florida.”

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