Horst Arfert has an eye for eye-catching photography

Posted September 9, 2008 at 12:15 PM, Filed Under: Community News, Village Mill

By Wendy Parker
Managing Editor

Horst Arfert of Northwich has a great appreciation for the art of photography and the opportunity to display his beautiful photographs.He has an even greater appreciation for the gift of eyesight, something he nearly lost 20 years ago. “If you don’t have your eyesight,” says Arfert, “you have nothing.”

Around 1987, Arfert began to experience serious sight problems as a result of diabetic retinopathy, a condition that if left untreated can lead to total blindness. His eyesight had deteriorated to a point that he had to wear “coke-bottle-thick eyeglasses.” He underwent seven
operations to seal damaged blood vessels in the retina of both eyes. Today, thanks to the expert care of Drs. Evan Leslie and Kennon Guerry, Arfert has nearly perfect vision and is able to continue pursuing his passion for photography.

Arfert specializes in photographing nature scenes and historical sites — anything of beauty. “I really enjoy taking photos and giving them to people,” he says. “There’s a lot of satisfaction in that.” The Village Mill benefits from Arfert’s talent and generosity as he often volunteers to photograph Brandermill scenes and events for the newspaper.

Arfert’s work is reaching a larger audience these days. He exhibits and sells his photographs and note cards in Richmond, the Tidewater area, and in North Carolina. Several of his photographs are currently on display in the newly opened restaurant The Grill at Waterford in Brandermill.

Arfert was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. In 1963, the company he worked for transferred him to the U.S. He later worked for Reynolds Metals Company where over the course of 34 years he obtained 28 U.S. patents for machinery, food processing, and container designs. He was instrumental in developing a non-detachable easy opening pull-tab for beverage cans when pull-off tabs were outlawed in the mid- to late ’60s.

When Arfert retired in 1998, he was able to devote more time to his photography passion. Travels with his wife Gloria have taken them to beautiful places where Arfert’s camera is always ready. His portfolio includes breathtaking photos recently taken in the Outer Banks, N.C.; Sedona, Ariz.; and Santorini, Greece.

In addition to the exhibit at The Grill at Waterford, Arfert’s work is currently on display at: Artworks, 320 Hull Street Road in Richmond; Waterman’s Museum Gift Shop in Yorktown, Va.; Forget-Me-Not Consignment Shop in Urbanna, Va.; and Beach Bums gift shop in Barco, N.C. During the month of October, Arfert’s photos will be on display at the Forever Yorktown Exhibit in The Gallery at York Hall, 301 Main Street, Yorktown, Va., Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.