The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


November 26, 2009

<img src="" border=0>Photographer documents struggle with cystic fibrosis<font color="#ff0000"> w/ slide show and link to National Transplant Assistance Fund page</font>

By Scott Meeker

ST. LOUIS — After administering his own evening antibiotic treatment — delivered through an IV port in his chest — Curtis Almeter sets up his laptop computer on one of the room’s two twin beds.

Loading up a photo management program, he kneels next to the bed and begins scanning through some of his photography. There are a few landscapes, but the emphasis of his work is heavy on portraiture.

An Anderson native and recent Crowder College graduate, Almeter has taken numerous photos of models, his camera capturing their natural beauty and also providing snapshots of his own creativity.

There’s a black-and-white shot of a woman in a trench coat, a picture that radiates a film noir vibe. Another emphasizes the face of his subject, but the atmospheric hallway of the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Ark., stretching behind her is just as captivating.

There is the ever-present hum of the oxygen converter that is feeding air through the tubing situated under his nose, but it seems to fade into the background as Almeter talks about his passion for photography. He loves the medium’s ability to capture emotion and tell a captivating story, and he can’t help but smile as he talks about all of the elements that can come into play when taking a good photo — such as lighting, shadows and composition.

All of those things must be just right as the camera’s shutter opens and closes, forever capturing a moment in time as an image that can tell a powerful story.

“It’s all about being in the right place at the right time,” Almeter says. “A little bit of luck is involved.”

A rapid decline

It’s such a simple process, breathing — a gentle inhalation of air, followed by an exhalation. It’s so natural and simple, in fact, that most people never stop to consider the mechanics behind it.

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