Dietel, 52, a La Cañada Flintridge resident and former board of education member, who lives with his wife and his two high-school-aged teens, said that the schools could always use more funds to run programs.
"The schools are responsible for helping make my kids what they are," he said.
A fan of famous photographers Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Dorothea Lang — who were often hailed for capturing an era in black and white during the early part of the 20th century — Dietel works mainly in large-format film photography, developing his work in an extra bathroom of his house.
"I have and 8-by-10-inch enlarger in the shower," Dietel said, "It's an enormous device."
But just because his preferred method of shooting photographs is old-school, like the giant cameras movie paparazzi carried in the 1950s, he's not averse to digital photography he said.
Dietel said that he left his hometown outside of Milwaukee for the U.S. Air Force in the 1970s and eventually landed in California at the now-defunct Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino.
But his move to Southern California was no accident.
He'd gotten into shooting still photography and military exercise films for the Air Force and while at Norton he shot a proliferation of military-oriented films, Dietel said.
Eventually he enrolled in the American Film Institute's advanced film studies program with a focus on cinematography, he said.
While photography is mostly avocational for Dietel, he said that at his job as an assistant director for research, use and communications at UCLA, where he researches and evaluates student testing, he gets to put some of his photography background to work.
Among Dietel's shots are bright and whimsical color photographs of para-sailors at the beach, but his collection offers multiple black-and-white interpretations of Crescenta Valley natural landmarks.
"It's interesting going back to the same place," he said of his many shots of the Japanese Gardens at Descanso Gardens and of Cherry Canyon. "The landscape changes."
He mentioned ever-changing foliage at the Japanese Gardens that makes for a fresh image every time he shoots it.
"Each print is really a unique and different piece of art than the last one," Dietel said.
But Dietel's work hanging at the library is more than stunning images of the land where he lives, it's also a philanthropic endeavor.
"Part of the beauty of what he's doing is he's giving the money to the education fund," his friend and aspiring photographer Rick Jesmok said of Dietel's contribution to schools.