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Precision's People: Earl Dolifka

Posted by Casey Holder on 24th Oct 2016

Probably the best part of working here at Precision Camera & Video is interacting with all of the wonderful characters that come through the store. One of our favorite regulars is local music fanatic Earl Dolifka. Soft spoken and hidden behind an enormous and unkempt white beard, Earl, 68, said that he grew up in south Texas and has spent most of his life right here in Austin.

He's is a huge fan of the local band Denim. In fact, he's seen them more than 1,000 times. That insane passion drove him to pick up the camera about 15 years ago, and he hasn't looked back. Shooting C-41, color negative, film with a 35mm point and shoot Olympus camera, he captures some fascinating low-light images. According to Earl, his drive to shoot photos is to capture the profound moments that occur during intimate live music performances. 

"I got [my camera] because I want to have memories I enjoy," he said.  

Earl, a walking music encyclopedia, wandered into a Wolf Camera store about 15 years ago and found one of Precision Camera's current sales representatives and class instructors, Tamra Green. Tamra gifted Earl a little point-and-shoot camera that a customer donated. Earl put film through it until it broke.  

When that camera finally went "brain dead," he came into Precision on the hunt for another, he said. Encouragement to go digital didn't take. So, Tamra and Precision's service manager, Noel, found a $30 Olympus Super-Zoom, and Earl shoots with it to this day. Included in this post are some of his latest "adventures." 

Earl caught his first show, Three Dog Night, in his mid-twenties and his hobby of collecting records expanded into going to shows. With time, Earl became a fixation in the local music scene and turned to the camera to document his experiences. 

"I figured out all you have to do is be willing to go out, and see if you walked into something that really mattered," Earl said. "I heard a music group, and I liked them. That's how the camera came to it, because I wanted to take pictures of them and other things happening with things I liked. I knew it was unique for me."

"It's the people doing something, whether it's the performer or somebody enjoying the performance," Earl said.