2002-08-10 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

By Susan Hartenstein
Rockaway Artists Alliance

As a photographer, I can focus on the perfect flower or landscape…and it remains forever. I can seize the fragile fleeting light, making it permanent…Inspired by nature, I love to capture it (on film) and leave it untouched by my presence." These are the words of Holly Gordon, one of the three award-winning nature photographers whose works are coming to sTudio 6 Gallery from August 24 through September 22. These sentiments express those of all three women, whose cameras "capture the creativity of nature," as Kathleen Hervey puts it. The third photographer is Laura M. Eppig. Eppig prefers capturing the nature of Long Island. Gordon and Hervey travel the world. In fact, there is a fascinating story of the magical moment that that the latter two shared in one of their journeys together.

Gordon was in Costa Rica desperately trying to photograph a butterfly called the Blue Morpho. The last time she’d seen it, it was in captivity and it continually eluded her because when it rests, it closes its electric blue wings. In one final attempt, Gordon spread a concoction of beer and bananas on rubber tree leaves, which she had been told would attract the Morpho. I will allow the entry from Holly Gordon’s journal to tell the rest of the story.

"The next morning I went back to the garden to shoot ‘one more’ roll of film in the butterfly garden. It was to be our last morning (of our first visit) at Selva Verde Lodge and I had to get my fill of this spectacular place. No sooner did I enter the garden than a Blue Morpho alighted on my tripod. It was as though it were waiting for me! I quickly ‘fumbled’ with excitement and separated my camera from the tripod to photograph this elusive butterfly…but then the Morpho perched onto my camera! I held out my hand for it to move to my finger and for a few moments struggled holding my heavy camera with one hand while the Blue Morpho sat on my finger!"

"No one would believe this close encounter with the Morpho, I despaired, and my photographs, undoubtedly, would not turn out. I just reveled in the fantasy of it all, when…Kathy walked through the garden door, paused a moment to observe this occurrence…and then silently came over to me."

"The Morpho merrily jumped onto Kathy’s finger! I clutched my camera with both hands and photographed away! Kathy provided a ‘confirmed sighting’ as well as posed as a model for the shoot. It is the only time I have ever successfully photographed this butterfly. Forever, Kathy and I are bound by this magical moment!!!"

Come to sTudio 6, Fort Tilden from August 24 - September 22 for "All A-Flutter," an exhibition filled with amazing images.

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