Don Browne - Photographing and Reporting The Unusual
From his pre-teen days of delivering and selling subscriptions to the Columbus (Ohio) Citizen-Journal newspaper, he's always been attracted to the newspaper business and photography.
(Photo) Don Browne, shy and enigmatic, enjoys presenting unusual ways of seeing the world. He is a top level Google Local Guide, as a contributor to Local Guides on Google Maps, as of April 2023 with over 68,020,000 views of over 3,800 of his photos and having made over 400 reviews and 477,000 review views of businesses and locations as an official Local Guide for Google Maps. Don's Google Map Photos and Google Reviews of popular and unusual places and businesses in Florida and Ohio.
He worked his way through college as a professional musician and composer, driving his parents crazy with his constant drum practicing, and also worked as an apprentice electrician, wiring hundreds of Columbus, Ohio homes and apartments. Don had his first musical composition published in 1966, (Three By Three by Donald Browne) and today somewhere in the world, musicians are still performing his music daily. His music is on the list of many state Music Educators Associations including Pennsylvania and in many libraries.. Playing drums and horns in musical styles from jazz to opera, he graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Music Education. He played with numerous bands and orchestras in Ohio, then moved to Florida where he taught music for 12 years.
He does a regular podcast "Mood Gym with Don Browne" discussing health and wellness subjects including meditation, mindfulness, exercise, and healthy living at anchor.fm/don-browne and wherever you get your podcasts including, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Sticher, Spotify and Pocket Casts and others.
Don Browne says he doesn't know everything, but he "knows a little about a lot" and believes in raising tough questions, and answering them. As the editor of Southwest Florida Online (click here to read the current and over 7,500 archived news stories), information and news pages, he says "News is what somebody doesn't want anyone to know or see, and everything else is just advertising or opinion." The Southwest Florida Online news has over 6,159,000 page views and over 7,500 stories and 5,600 reader comments posted at last count January, 2022.
Don has published 625 entertainment and how-to YouTube videos since August 2006, with over 1,180,000 total views at youtube.com/donbrowne.
Don was influenced in his youth by his fourth grade teacher Mrs. Carr, at Hamilton Road Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio, who encouraged him despite his shyness. In later years he met other teachers who had a great bearing on his future, including a Catholic nun in Miami, Florida, the late Sister Mariana Garde of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Baden, Pennsylvania. One of the wisest men he's had the privilege of studying under, George Robinson of Coconut Grove, Florida is also fondly remembered for his gentle guidance and wisdom. Mr. Robinson, who died August 19, 2012 was a Miami psychotherapist, and one of the country's foremost teachers of Taoism. Don also acknowledges his friend and colleague while he was in Miami, Jerry Jennings who taught him understanding and compassion for others.
Don for several years in LaBelle, was a "featured broadcaster" and broadcast daily as the "world's oldest lifecaster" where he had several thousand followers and three million views of his daily antics online. During his daily show he introduced the first 3-D video and 3-D photographs broadcasts live on Justin Kan's former justin.tv (now twitch.tv/kq4ym - click to see over 350 shows that were broadcast from 2000 to 2013).
See Don's 3-D Photography for some sample video and photos in full 3-Dimensional depth using red/cyan glasses or freeviewing (without glasses) with side-by-side parallel format 3-D.
Having been drawn to the news business and love of photography at an early age, he eventually ended up living in Southwest Florida selling photos and articles for newspapers, magazines, and internet websites. Don worked at Clewiston's WAFC-FM radio station under the radio name Mark A. Werling as a reporter, news announcer, and radio personality and then managed and was on-air at LaBelle's 92.5 WWWD-FM until it was sold to 92.5 Fox News WFSX-FM in a multi-million dollar sale and the station moved to Fort Myers.
Enjoying wild places, remote places, and small towns, he lives in LaBelle, Florida where he began publishing the Sunday Morning News online and the Southwest Florida Online website around 1996, and later added a news blog, Sunday Morning News blog which is currently very active with tens of thousands of viewers monthly.
Don's love of adventure and travel led him to obtain a private pilot's license in 1984 and later an instrument rating and a commercial drone pilot license. He has enough piloting miles in general aviation aircraft to have traveled six times around the world. While he began taking photographs when he was only 10 years old, upon becoming a pilot he began taking aerial photographs of Florida landscapes, remote places, and local real estate. Don shot custom low-altitude color photos for his clients all over South Florida. Aerial Photographs by Don.
He has an Amateur Radio License from the FCC and regularly transmits over short wave radio to stations around the world as KQ4YM, his FCC call sign and station license.
In more recent years as a certified Tai Ji Quan instructor he has taught Tai Ji Quan - Moving For Better Balance classes at the Hope Center/L.J. Nobles Senior Center in LaBelle, Fl. and was a certified live video teacher on Google's former Helpouts Channels.
Click for information about taking aerial photos in the Hendry, Lee and Glades county, Florida area by drone and aircraft. Drone sample videos and photographs, click here.
Here are some aircraft aerial photos posted on Southwest Florida Online over the years:
Fort Denaud, Fl. low-altitude oblique aerial photo - The Historic Fort Denaud Swing Bridge west of LaBelle, Florida on the Caloosahatchee River.
City of LaBelle, Fl. low-altitude oblique aerial photo - LaBelle, Fl. Municipal Airport under construction to expand runway
Clewiston, Fl. low-altitude oblique aerial photo - Clewiston, Fl. looking south
City of LaBelle, Fl. low-altitude oblique aerial photo - LaBelle, Fl. Caloosahatchee River Bridge
Glades County, Fl. low-altitude oblique aerial photo - Fisheating Creek
Glades County, Fl. low-altitude oblique aerial photo - Turkey Creek Homes
Port LaBelle, Fl. low-altitude oblique aerial photo - Laurel Oaks subdivision in Port LaBelle, Fl.
Don Browne's really, really distant relations and namesakes:
Jackson Browne, musician; Harry Browne, libertarian writer; Dr. Joy Browne, radio psychologist; Sylvia Browne, psychic; Charles Farrar Browne, 19th century American humorist a/k/a Artemus Ward; Sir Thomas Browne, 17th century English author; Saint Donald, 8th century Saint, Scotland; St. Donald's Icon, the Confessor of Ogilvie, Glenda Browne, 2007 Ig Nobel Prize in Literature
Don's own musical composition "Three By Three" -
Available through music publishers: J W Pepper Music Co. and Steve Weiss Music
Links about Hendry and Glades county, Florida:
Sunday Morning News for Hendry and Glades county
And more ways to follow Don Browne: YouTube Don Browne. FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram. TikTok, Fireworktv @donbrowne