All Rights Reserved ©2015 Ray or Tawny Canales

    I am Ray C Canales, I was born in Tennessee, but was raised in Tampa, Florida, with family roots in Texas.  As a child, I was always doodling, and drawing, but just not good enough.  Photography was the natural next step, as I am a visual person.  It got me in trouble from the beginning, my mom  once asked when she developed the film from her Brownie, "who took all of these photos of a broken telephone pole, from a car wreck?" 

I worked many different jobs, McDonalds, walking Greyhound dogs, pipeline construction, but shortly after High School I had an opportunity to go into the bank security world as a technician.  The side benefit of this was they used 150' and 250' rolls of a thin b/w 400iso 35mm film used in bank cameras. I  bought a bulk film loader, a camera, some basic black and white dark room equipment, grabbed some out of date film and started learning. I took photos as I ran service calls, then started going to computer school at night so I could move from the mechanical side to the electronic side of security work.  After I graduated, I went to work for a security company that had darkrooms!  They had contracts to take test shots of the bank cameras, and respond to bank robberies and develop the large rolls of film, working with law enforcement to print the photos as they directed.  This company moved me to South Florida, after 18 months of me flying back and forth each week.  I took a basic photo class at the community college shortly after moving south.  I changed companies shortly after that, staying in the security world, installing and servicing CCTV, Access Control and Pro-Video Systems for a dealer in South Florida.

During a dive trip to the Florida Keys, I did a night time exposure of an old dock, at a hotel just north of Marathon, which is something I like to do, play in the dark.  I took a whole roll of film playing that night, it was windy, and the dock was very rickety.  A short time later, I entered one of those photos in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel Newspaper Photo contest, sponsored by Kodak.  I came in 2ND place!  All of the top place winners from the Newspapers around the world were then submitted to Kodak for another part of the competition, called KINSA (Kodak International Newspaper Snapshot Award).  I won again, this time an award of achievement, and my print was on display at EPCOT's Journey to the Imagination, along with about a 100 other winners, for a year.  I was invited there for the award ceremony and dinner, it was great, this was 1989. 

Through a class I took in Broward county around 1997, we had a competition, and I was one of the winners there.  The winners had their photographs in the Miami Herald.

I take mostly scenery photos, playing sometimes, and yes, sometimes people photos.  But it is hard for me to switch from the living zone to the creative zone.  When we go camping, it is a few days before I relax and start creating.  I can document all the time, and do take good photographs, but it seems it takes awhile before the creative side can take over from the daily working side.

In 2012, I entered the WPTV Best of South Florida online contest at, the public voted on the top 25 finalists, and I was one of them.  Five more were chosen for additional prizes also.  As one of the 25 finalists, the print we be on display and a reception was held at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, in downtown West Palm Beach.

All Rights Reserved ©2015 Ray or Tawny Canales