This past Thursday evening, I had the opportunity to participate in a photography walk in Turners Falls, Massachusetts given by Beth Reynolds; an instructor, photo journalist, and owner of Base Camp Photo. Co-leading the walk was Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center naturalist, Beth Bazler. It was one of many Third Thursday events sponsored by Turners Falls River Culture.
The early evening sky was thick with cloud cover and an ever-present threat of rain, but as an experienced photographer, Beth pointed out that you could walk away with great photographs no matter the weather conditions. You should focus on what is possible in the given situation. I agree. If we are always looking for the perfect conditions, we won’t have a variety of look, texture, and feel to our images.
On we went… a small group, ranging from amateur to professional. We all had something to learn here. Clusters of ferns growing randomly out of an old stone wall stopped us all in our tracks as the group snapped photos from different angles. Next, we crossed an old iron bridge spanning over a canal built in the mid to late 1800’s once used to power paper and cotton mills. Beth Bazler pointed to ruins and small remnants of the past along this section of the river. There is so much history here. So many photo opportunities.
Our short trek took down us to the edge of the river. Plentiful with hooks, lines, laughs, and a shout, “Hey, look at what I caught!” And the view? Beautiful! Looking west, the Connecticut River curved around the tree-lined shore. The working dam is to the east, so the rocky river bottom was exposed at this time, and the expansive Turners Falls Bridge above seemed never ending.
An eagle flew into view and perched upon a tall pine tree on the opposite shore as we busily took photos. Beth shared tips, gave instruction, and pointed out subjects and scenes. The group seemed to take it all in. I know I did. What a great experience. History, river life, nature and good people; all encompassed in one evening along the river.