Tag Archives: photography

Wildlife Photographer Melissa Groo Kicks off Photographers’ Lecture Series

Melissa Groo will be on campus on January 19.
Melissa Groo will be on campus on January 19.

Award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, and conservationist Melissa Groo on January 19 will kick off Williston’s 2017 Photographers’ Lecture Series, which brings notable photographers to the Williston campus for a public lecture and in-depth classroom instruction for Williston students.

Groo began her career as a photographer after working in a number of diverse fields, including banking, education, modeling, and silversmithing. A passionate advocate for wildlife and an accomplished technical photographer, she quickly won prestigious assignments for leading photography magazines. She has completed three for Smithsonian Magazine, covering the great sandhill crane migration in Nebraska (March 2014), the rare spirit bear in Brittish Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest (September 2015), and the endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe in Uganda (forthcoming cover story, March 2017).

Snowy egret, Photo by Melissa Groo

Her photographs have been published in many magazines, including Smithsonian, Audubon, Outdoor Photographer. Groo has received awards and honorable mentions in national and international photography competitions, including Audubon (Grand Prize winner 2015), Nature’s Best, NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association), Festival de L’Oiseau, Birds as Art, the HBW World Bird Photo Contest, and Nature Photographer Magazine. She shows regularly and her prints are in personal and corporate collections. Her winning Audubon photos were exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., from 2015-2016.

Spirit bears, photo by Melissa Groo

All of Groo’s photographs are taken in the wild, without any baiting. She feels strongly about the use of ethical practices in the photography of wildlife, and tries her best to disrupt her subjects as little as possible. She created Audubon’s Guide for Ethical Bird Photography with Kenn Kaufman, and she’s advised National Wildlife Magazine and NANPA, as well as the National Audubon Society, on guidelines for ethical photography. She is also a judge for the National Audubon Society and the BigPicture Natural World photo contests.

She writes for several nature photography magazines and teaches photography, as well as maintaining involvement in organizations that promote conservation and ethical photography.

Groo has recently been named recipient of Audubon Connecticut’s 2017 Katie O’Brien Lifetime Achievement Award, which annually recognizes a person who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to the conservation of birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. She will also receive North American Nature Photography Association’s 2017 Vision Award. This award is given to a photographer every two years in recognition of early career excellence, vision and inspiration to others in nature photography, conservation and education.

Wood duck, photo by Melissa Groo
Wood duck, photo by Melissa Groo

Groo worked for years at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, on elephant communication in their Bioacoustics Research Program. She was a research assistant for scientist Katy Payne with The Elephant Listening Project, and spent field seasons in the rainforest of central Africa studying forest elephants in the wild.

“Melissa’s respect, love, and admiration for her animal subjects comes through in work that is stunningly beautiful,” said Williston Visual and Performing Arts Teacher Edward Hing ’77, who coordinates the series. “She brings passion and professionalism to her craft, with the goal of making a positive impact on our dwindling wild places.”

The Photographers’ Lecture series features internationally acclaimed photographers who present and discuss their work to the school and community. Advanced photography students will have the opportunity to participate in a class taught by the photographers preceding the public lecture. Past visiting photographers have included Steve McCurry, known for his National Geographic magazine cover of the girl from Afghanistan, and award-winning sports photographer Damian Strohmeyer.

The free public lecture will take place in the Dodge Room in the Reed Campus Center from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Top Sports Photographer Damian Strohmeyer to Speak at Williston Northampton Photographers Lecture Series

Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles (43) runs for yardage against the Dallas Cowboys November 27, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Philadelphia defeated Dallas 33-10. (AP Photo/Damian Strohmeyer)
Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles (43) runs for yardage against the Dallas Cowboys November 27, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Philadelphia defeated Dallas 33-10. (AP Photo/Damian Strohmeyer)

“Did I get this or not?” photographer Damian Strohmeyer recalls asking himself in the seconds after David Tyree’s famous Helmet Catch, the play in the closing minutes of Super Bowl XLII that some have called the greatest in NFL history. A security guard had briefly blocked his camera, but fortunately for football fans, Mr. Strohmeyer did indeed get the shot. His 2008 photograph would soon become yet another iconic image in a remarkable career that now spans more than two decades.

Working for Sports Illustrated, among other clients, the Boston-area photographer has covered the World Series, the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four, the NBA Finals, the World Cup, the Stanley Cup, the Indianapolis 500, several Olympics and 28 Super Bowls. On March 29, however, you can see him, and hear his stories from the field, in the Dodge Room of the Reed Campus Center, as he continues Williston’s Photographers’ Lecture Series. The free event begins at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the school community and the public.

Photography and Digital Video Instructor Ed Hing, who runs the lecture series, says he had been looking to bring a sports photographer to Williston for a number of years. “Every kid is involved in sports here,” he says, “Its such a big part of campus life.” Prior to his talk, Mr. Strohmeyer will be teaching a hands-on workshop to Williston photography students, Mr. Hing noted, and will perhaps demonstrate techniques by shooting the action on the Williston athletic fields.

Mr. Strohmeyer’s list of accomplishments and accolades is considerable.

He has been honored numerous times by the National Press Photographers Association in their annual Pictures of the Year awards, as well as by The University of Missouri in their annual Pictures of the Year competition. He has been recognized by The Pro Football Hall of Fame, which also exhibits his work. He was the photographer for A March for Honor, a book chronicling small town Indiana High School basketball, written by Sports Illustrated senior writer Alexander Wolff.

His list of corporate clients includes Nike, Sylvania, The Animal Planet, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Ackerman McQueen, Canon, Suffolk University, and Boston University. He had done editorial photography for Bloomberg Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Web MD. But he is perhaps best known for his work with Sports Illustrated, whose editors have featured his work on the cover more than 70 times.

Mr. Strohmeyer is originally from Kansas and graduated from Washburn University in Topeka. He is married to Joanne Rathe, a photographer at The Boston Globe and has three children, Jessye, Zach, and Leah. They live in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Mr. Hing notes that the Photographers’ Lecture Series has brought in a remarkable collection of talented photographers over the years, but their work may not always have been as well-known to students as Mr. Strohmeyer’s. This talk, he notes, “is an opportunity to see a world-recognized sports photographer. I mean, 70 Sports Illustrated covers is insanely impressive.”

Group Exhibit of Fiber Art Blooms in Grubbs

Vivika DeNegre’s piece with inspiration photo by Rosemary DeLucco Alpert. Photo and caption dianewrightquilts.blogspot.com

A group exhibit featuring the work of a dozen fiber artists from Southern Connecticut is now on display at the Williston Northampton School’s Grubbs Gallery.

“Double Take: Photo & Fiber,” which includes both fiber artwork and the nature photographs that inspired them, opened March 6. A reception for the artists will be held in the gallery on March 23 from 2-4 p.m.

The collective work was created by Sisters in Cloth, a group who drew their name from a Progressive quilt with a batik motif that they created together. Sisters in Cloth started in Guilford in 2000 and the group’s collective work has appeared in such venues as Haskins Labs at Yale University, Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Garde Theater in New London, and Connecticut Hospice in Branford.

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Grubbs Gallery Exhibits “Ultimate Antarctica” Photography

mead eagle seal grubbsDan Mead and Sally Eagle will exhibit “Ultimate Antarctica” at the Grubbs Gallery in the Reed Campus Center of The Williston Northampton School from September 6 through October 31, 2011. An artists’ reception will be held on Sunday, September 25, 2:00-5:00 p.m.

These photographs seek to capture the character and scale of the wildlife and landscapes of Antarctica, a place where Mead and Eagle spent twenty-four days in 2009. Although many of the species are threatened or endangered, the show is not a “photographic elegy,” says Jennifer Sahn, editor of Orion Magazine, but “a celebration of the great diversity of life to be found at the underside of the Earth.”

Dan Mead, a former educator turned psychotherapist, and Sally Eagle, entrepreneur and first Executive Director of the Berkshire-Taconic Community Foundation, have traveled extensively and studied with leading photographers such as David Muensch, Jack Dykinga, and John Shaw. Their photograph “Sand Sprinters” won a Highly Commended Award in a BBC/London Natural History Museum annual contest in 2008, and is now part of the Wild Planet exhibit sponsored by the Natural History Museum in London. Mead and Eagle have lived in western Massachusetts for 30 years. With this project, the husband and wife team celebrate their seventh continent visited and photographed together.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and selected Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon. For more information, go to www.williston.com/grubbsgallery.

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