Lehigh Gap center exhibit brings nature indoors
Gage Green, 9, checks out the “Nature in Photos” exhibit at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center on Saturday afternoon. The show featured 69 photographs spread across four categories, and will run until March 18. Scan this photo with the Prindeo app to see a photo gallery from the show. BRIAN W. MYSZKOWSKI/TIMES NEWS
Jeff Seng and Barbara Dilley check out the water photography at the “Nature in Photographs” show on Saturday.
Examples of photographs for the Lehigh Gap Nature Center category, including first place winner Brenda Lindsey’s “Deadly Embrace,” seen at the top left.
Who ever thought that you could get even closer to nature indoors?
The Lehigh Gap Nature Center’s “Nature in Photography,” which opened on Friday, gives visitors a chance to get up close and personal with beautifully composed shots of flora, fauna, landscapes and more.
Dozens of artists contributed 69 pieces in four categories — black and white, Lehigh Gap Nature Center, water and youth — to be displayed, judged and potentially sold at the fifth annual show.
Palmerton photographer Lynn Shupp found plenty of inspiration for her three submissions — including the black and white entry “Show Some Love,” the Lehigh Gap Nature Center entry “Foggy Warm Winter Day” and the Water entry “Frozen Bubbles” — in the local environment.
“I like to shoot around here, because most of us take for granted,” she said. “I’m naturally drawn to water, so I love to photograph it in all of its forms. When we had that warm day in December, that was when I shot the fog photo. The second that I knew it was going to be that warm out, with the snow melting, I knew it would make for some great fog shots.”
Over 60 spectators visited the exhibit on Saturday and voted for the People’s Choice Award, presented by Dan’s Camera City, the show sponsor. Visitors are welcome to vote for the People’s Choice up until the artist’s reception, which will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Lehigh Gap Nature Center’s board President Anita Collins was pleased with this year’s submissions, and found a wonderful range of submissions for the categories.
“We always get such beautiful work, and it’s interesting to see how people interpret our categories,” Collins, who served as the show organizer and a juror, said. “Like for Water, this year, it was water in many different forms and approaches.”
Several local photographers faired well in the show, taking prizes in each category.
Lehighton resident Rhiannah Funk’s stunning “Dragonfly” took a first prize ribbon in the youth section, beautifully highlighting the faintly lit crystalline wings of the in-flight insect.
President’s Prize winner “Regrowth,” shot by Nancy Thatcher of Walnutport, features a humble little plant pushing up through a bed of rocks.
“I think they’re very talented people, I can’t get that with my camera. I enjoy the nature side of it, admiring how close they can get with their cameras when we can’t get that close,” Barbara Dilley said as she examined the photographs on Saturday.
Jeannie Carl, naturalist at Carbon County Environmental Education Center and juror for the contest, found the process of declaring a winner in each category a challenge, as her fellow jurors Phil Campbell, Collins and herself found something to love with each entry.
“This year’s entries, they were awesome. There were some really outstanding photographs. There was a lot of thought put into those pictures. But the winners, they were head and shoulders above the rest,” Carl said.
Even younger visitors, such as Gage and Marcus Green, were entranced with the depictions of local nature.
“I like this one. I like the sunrise in the background.” Gage Green, 9, said as he pointed to Elise Fichtel’s “Lehigh Sunrise.”
“I like the fox that’s drinking. I think it’s cute,” Marcus Green, 5, said, referring to Scott Keys’ first place winner in the water category, “Ripples.”
While the show certainly highlighted the incredible sights of the area from highly trained photographers, Carl hopes that it also inspires just about anyone to explore their own backyard.
“It’s nice to know that people come to see these pictures, and they get inspired by the photographs. I think sometimes it gets people to pick up the camera, get out there and visit those places,” Carl said.
“Nature in Photographs” runs until March 18.