Stephanie S. Hooper

Stephanie and Chester Hooper

Stephanie S. Hooper


Photography has been a favorite hobby of mine for years. Although I have a digital camera and have found it useful on occasions, I much prefer using my Leica M4 camera to capture special images and scenes, which I want to remember and preserve. I like the feeling of control I have with the Leica, which enables me to compose my pictures carefully and thoughtfully, always aware of the story I want tell without having to depend on the use of manipulative devices.

My husband and I have been fortunate to have been able to take a lot of trips abroad as well as in this country. Many of the trips have been in connection with my husband’s profession as an admiralty lawyer, but in the last five years we have also been privileged to have travelled on National Geographic Photographic Journeys, both on land and on sea.

This past summer, we were invited by a polish law firm to spend five days in Szezchin, Poland where my husband spoke at an international maritime seminar, and where I was escorted around the town by two trainees at the law firm. The trainees showed me many wonderful buildings in Szezchin: some old ornate buildings constructed several hundred years before World War II; some buildings bombed in World War II; some flimsy apartment buildings built during the communist rule; and some newly restored buildings financed as a result of Poland’s recent entry into the E.U.

The buildings that fascinated me the most in Szezchin were those that rose high above this old city. As I wandered through the narrow streets of the old part, my eyes and camera were usually focused upwards. I was amazed by the variety of towers and steeples appearing to transcend their earthly confining spaces. I wanted to capture on film both the permanence and the impermanence of these soaring creations.

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