Capturing the beauty in everything

McMahon is a life-long photographer

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Tim McMahon is the featured photographer for the Central Iowa Camera Club’s latest exhibit, which is on display now until Dec. 7 in Conference Room A in the Fisher Community Center. McMahon enjoys the thrill of capturing a moment in time.

“A photo should evoke an emotion and do something; thinking about it that way will change how you take a photo.”

These are the words of Tim McMahon, whose photography is on display now until Dec. 7 in Conference Room A in the Fisher Community Center, as part of the Central Iowa Camera Club’s featured photographer exhibit.

McMahon has lived in Marshalltown since 1993, employed at Emerson-Fisher Controls as a mechanical engineer.

He caught the photography bug early in life.

“My dad had a Kodak Pony 35 mm camera he got out every once in a while, and I had an uncle who was always taking pictures at family events, and I guess I’m that guy now,” McMahon said. “I got my first camera in 1968 — a Brownie Hawkeye.”

He noted that his subject matter runs the gamut.

“My interest has migrated from [photographing] events, to landscapes and architecture, to travel, mechanical, and now, into long exposure stuff and nighttime photography,” he said.

Traveling the globe for his career and on family vacations provided the fodder for many of his shots.

“[For example] the photo I have on display of the Grand Canyon was taken at a section of it that doesn’t have many tourists, so it is a different perspective” he said.

David Giese, who serves as president of the club, said McMahon was chosen because “there is so much variety to his work.”

“My favorite thing to photograph is my grandchildren, but also just capturing beauty at an instance in time — almost everything has beauty in it, so it’s the technical challenge of it,” McMahon said.

In addition to purchasing new camera equipment, the photographer is a collector of vintage cameras. He currently takes his photos using a Nikon D7000, with PaintShop Pro and AfterShot as his editing software. He teaches camera classes for the Central Iowa Art Association (CIAA) and for the camera club.

“I like a lot of different things, so my goal is to have people connect with some part of my photography,” he said.

McMahon credits Wilbur Hutchens for getting him involved in the camera club over 10 years ago.

“When I joined the camera club, I got exposed to the breadth of what photographers can do. Before I was a member, I just took snapshots and didn’t necessarily take it as an art form,” he said. “I encourage people to not leave all their photos in digital format; print some out, and you will see a new perspective.”

To learn more about the camera club or the exhibit, which is managed by Mary Giese, contact her at The club was founded in 1977 and has around 40 active members that gather the first Thursday of the month — September through June — from 7-9 p.m. at the Fisher Community Center.


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or