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Asperger's Helps Hawthorne Photographer Focus, Make Beautiful Pictures

Photographer Alan Goldberg will be at the Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center in Hawthorne for a meet-the-photographer event Nov. 5.
Photographer Alan Goldberg will be at the Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center in Hawthorne for a meet-the-photographer event Nov. 5. Photo Credit: Alan Goldberg
A rotating selection of Alan Goldberg's photographs, including landscapes, are on display at the  Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center in Hawthorne through the end of the year.
A rotating selection of Alan Goldberg's photographs, including landscapes, are on display at the Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center in Hawthorne through the end of the year. Photo Credit: Alan Goldberg
Josette Diaz sings at a local bar. She's currently a contestant on NBC's "The Voice."
Josette Diaz sings at a local bar. She's currently a contestant on NBC's "The Voice." Photo Credit: Alan Goldberg
A rotating selection of Alan Goldberg's photographs, including many of musicians, are on display at the  Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center in Hawthorne through the end of the year.
A rotating selection of Alan Goldberg's photographs, including many of musicians, are on display at the Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center in Hawthorne through the end of the year. Photo Credit: Alan Goldberg
A rotating selection of Alan Goldberg's photographs are on display at the  Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center in Hawthorne through the end of the year.
A rotating selection of Alan Goldberg's photographs are on display at the Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center in Hawthorne through the end of the year. Photo Credit: Alan Goldberg
A rotating selection of Alan Goldberg's photographs are on display at the  Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center in Hawthorne through the end of the year.
A rotating selection of Alan Goldberg's photographs are on display at the Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center in Hawthorne through the end of the year. Photo Credit: Alan Goldberg

HAWTHORNE, N.J. – Alan Goldberg of Hawthorne always had intense focus.

When he was a child, his mother bought him five 1,000-piece puzzles, thinking it would take him weeks to complete them.

He finished in less than three days.

“I was just concentrating,” said Goldberg, 63, a middle school science teacher in Paterson and owner of Mind's Eye Photography.

His ability to zero in on a task at hand started making sense to him at 58 years old when he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

One symptom is that people tend to “focus on one topic or perform the same behaviors again and again,” according to WebMD.

He says it lends itself to taking the perfect picture.

“I use that as a way of focusing in on a subject or what I am doing,” said Goldberg, who can effortlessly edit photos for hours.

His favorite subjects are dragonflies, mushrooms, brick-a-brac at junk shops and nature in Bergen and Passaic counties.

In the winter, “when the water and the snow is melting,” he heads to Ramapo Mountain State Forest, spanning parts of Ringwood, Wanaque, Pompton Lakes and Oakland.

He also enjoys photographing musicians. He started when a colleague invited him to the Hilltop Tavern in Lodi to listen to music and snap photos and it has grown from there, he said.

Goldberg has done work for Cresskill's Josette Diaz, currently a contestant on NBC's "The Voice."

“When it comes into photographing bands, now the bands are coming to me,” he said. He has photographed many top musicians in the genres of folk, country, rock and blues.

A rotating selection of Goldberg’s photos are on display at the Louis Bay 2nd Library & Community Center, located at 345 Lafayette Avenue in Hawthorne, through the end of the year.

The library is hosting a meet- the-photographer event from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Goldberg will be on hand to present and discuss his work.

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