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An Eye for Adventure with Lynne Edwards

Apr 27, 2016 12:32PM ● By David Norby

Photographer and painter Lynne Edwards counts patience, preparedness and perspective as key techniques for capturing wildlife on her amazing adventures. Aiming to portray the “raw moments” of what she sees, Edwards recalls many of these throughout her career—from visiting the Dominican Republic and snorkeling with humpback whales, to photographing penguins and seals in the Antarctic, to tracking and snapping shots of mountain gorillas in Uganda. The artist is equally passionate about protecting the wildlife and habitats she photographs. “I’ve been blessed to witness many different species of animals in the wild, living their daily life in the way nature intended them to,” shares Edwards. “I desperately want my grandchildren to be able to experience these magnificent animals in their natural habitat when they get older.” 

View Edwards’ work from May 21-22 at the El Dorado Hills Arts Association’s Spring Art Studio Tour.

HLB: How do you prepare to photograph wildlife?

LE: One can only be prepared so much, because nature and wildlife don’t work on our schedule. I refer to my travels as expeditions, as there are no guarantees that Mother Nature—and her critters—will cooperate. 

HLB: When do you know you’ve captured “the one”? 

LE: I rarely know I have “the one” when I shoot. I’m somewhat of a purist because my goal is to reflect on paper something almost exactly as I experienced it. Even though I use editing software, I do very little manipulation. My definition of “the one” has to speak to me with emotion and expression of the animal. Some of my personal favorites are the close-up shots I take. You’ll see many cropped images of just the eyes of an elephant or leopard—[those images] speak a thousand words to me. 

HLB: Do you have any secret spots for your photography expeditions?

LE: I’m still seeking special spots, but I do love to travel along the Delta Road in hopes of finding the various birds that reside along the water. I’ve also explored nearby wildlife rescue centers [to see] how I can help, such as PAWS—where mistreated circus and zoo animals live out their lives—and Return to Freedom, where more than 300 wild horses were rescued and now live.

HLB: What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

LE: The most powerful is “shoot from your heart,” which I’ve interpreted to mean photograph what I love in a way that shows compassion and love. I’ve taken that same philosophy into my new venture of painting and try to reflect that in my watercolor renditions of my photographs. 

HLB: What are your goals for the future? 

LE: I’m learning how to print my photography onto transparencies and then transfer that onto various surfaces like wood, glass or acrylics—which is quite different from normal printing. I have done a few small images on birch wood using this process, which [are on display at] the Gold Country Artists’ Gallery. 

HLB: Tell us about the unique stamp on your artwork. 

LE: I’m very concerned about the survival of many of the species of animals I’ve been up close and personal with, so I’ve recently started to include stories on the back of each piece; not only about the image, but also little snippets of information about the particular animal and their struggles for survival.

Article by Heather L. Becker. Artist photo by Dante Fontana. Images courtesy of the artist.