Construction worker rekindles photography passion in retirement, gets featured in special exhibit

A construction worker turned photographer is one of many senior citizens 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. 

"Ever since I can remember I was interested 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've always been kind of exposed to it." 

Straub was so in love with photography that he went to Ohio State University and got a degree in it.  

"I transferred from the engineering department to the Fine Arts Department and graduated with the first BFA in photography from Ohio State University," he shared. "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 he retired, he went back to his first love. 

"It's a bittersweet kind of thing because I mean, you can take thousands of images and not be satisfied by any of them. You can take one image and go, ‘That's 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 the museum has highlighted work by photographers 55 and older. 

"There is a lot of very interesting intention that goes into creating the photography in this age," said Zora Carrier, executive director 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 image before you take it. So my eyes were always working. I was always looking at things, like boy would be a nice photograph." 

Straub is glad to showcase his photography talent for the world to see.

The exhibit runs April 8 - June 5 and costs a small fee to enter.