'Seagull sunset' Photo: Andrew Mitchell

PBMC president and CEO Andrew Mitchell’s love affair with photography began when he was just a tot on his father’s knee.

“My father had a Leica M3 rangefinder camera and I was fascinated with how photography captured a snapshot of life,” Mitchell says. “My father would set up the Leica on a tripod with a Summicron telephoto lens and we would take pictures of birds in our backyard,” he recalls.

He’d come to learn about light, aperture, shutter speed and film speed. “And of course, we always had the latest copy of National Geographic as a reference,” he says.

In high school, he learned how to develop film and make prints in a darkroom. As a sophomore, he had the opportunity to spend two weeks at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications, learning advanced photographic and darkroom techniques.

Today, Mitchell, 61, escapes from his high-pressure job running a major hospital with his Nikon D850, pursuing his passion for nature photography.

‘Flying Blue Heron’ Photo: Andrew Mitchell

“The East End is an incredible photographic resource that I have come to love,” he says. He also loves photographing nature in the Florida Everglades while vacationing in Florida in the winter.

Mitchell says he’ll always love the “simplicity and amazing sharpness of his Leica M3,” but he shoots today with his Nikon and a series of long lenses.

“But in the end,” he says,” it’s still all about subject, light and technique.”

Thirty-two of Mitchell’s photographs were the subject of a silent auction to benefit Peconic Bay Medical Center on July 25 at the hospital’s Entenmann campus on West Second Street. The full auction catalogue may be viewed on the PBMC Foundation website.

The exhibit and auction were sponsored by the PBMC Foundation and its board chairperson Emilie Roy Corey.

A handful of Mitchell’s framed photos from this exhibit are still available and can be viewed and purchased online here.

Andrew Mitchell and Emilie Roy Corey. Photo: Peter Blasl

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.