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Freedom to be creative

Ann’s Choice resident constantly reinvents himself

Created date

June 21st, 2011

When George Hopely was in high school, he majored in art. When he taught high school biology, he made photographic records of student projects. When he retired, he traded in his camera for gardening tools. Then he moved to Ann s Choice in Bucks County, Pa., and discovered digital photography. George considers himself a serious amateur and shrugs off his reputation as the community s resident photographer. That s probably just because I take a lot of pictures, he says. George learned to use a computer solely to enhance his photographs. One year he spent an entire day riding in a golf cart photographing a golf outing that benefited the community s scholarship fund. With his computer, he created a video for Ann s Choice to use in promoting the next golf outing. This talented Ann s Choice resident is one of several who have become adept at making slide-show videos complete with musical accompaniment. The goal is just to do it, George says. I like to have a story or theme to go with the photos, and finding the right music is the big job. It has to capture the spirit of the theme. Because George relishes the challenge of transforming still photos into something new and different, he now spends more time at his computer than he does behind the camera. His video of winter scenes and one of the beautiful and abundant flowering trees on campus, for example, have aired on the Ann s Choice in-house television station. His favorite subject is people. I like interesting faces, he says. In his video created from shots at the Philadelphia Flower Show, George placed his photos of children s faces onto his photo of an artist s canvas taken at the show. Doing that involved manipulating the children s photos to resemble painted portraits. Challenging? Probably. Fun? Definitely.

Linking interests on campus

George has found ample opportunities at Ann s Choice to link photography to his other interests. The most direct is his unofficial chairmanship of the digital photography group. The loosely organized club welcomes people of all skill levels, provides digital photography instruction, and gives members a place to share their work. Photography also intersects with George s interest in genealogy. He s made videos of family photos in story form and sent them to relatives as Christmas gifts. And he creates similar videos as Christmas cards. The Hopelys moved to Ann s Choice from Warminster, where they lived for 44 years. A contractor built the shell of their house, but George did all the plumbing, electrical, and other inside work himself. Now if home maintenance needs arise, the professional staff at Ann s Choice takes care of it all immediately; George is free to focus on his photography and whatever else strikes his fancy. There s not enough time in the day for all the activities available here, he says.