Currently, a host of Helen’s photographs are on display at 60 Turner Street. Beginning at the stair landing where two pieces hang, viewers can proceed to the Purple Room to find an additional set of framed works which showcase her lovely work.
This is not the first show of Helen’s work. She has had pieces in both group and solo shows at the Holyoke Center Art Gallery in Cambridge, the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, and at both the Arlington and Watertown Public Libraries.
Helen says that “Photography has inspired me to find new ways of expressing the way I see and experience the world. I find beauty in the smallest details; in the fleeting shadows and light; in the juxtaposition of lines, texture, colors and shapes. Whether traveling or observing nature, I use my camera to capture an image (of plants and trees especially) that might not be a traditional view. My goal is to bring back a glimpse of what I’ve experienced in a way that makes you stop for a moment to enjoy and reflect.”
A virtual tour of Helen’s current show at Turner Street includes:
“This photograph of a yellow wood tree was taken several years ago at Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Sadly, it is no more–it was struck by lightning and taken down last year. So, this image is a treasured memory.”
“I took this one last summer when we were visiting Great Brewster Island and lighthouse. The shoes, held together with clothespins, were sitting on the lighthouse base drying in the sun.”
“The stewartias, my favorites, are two trees located in the Consecration Dell at Mt. Auburn Cemetery that have ‘four season interest.’ This photo was taken in the fall, and you can see the leaves turning a beautiful shade of red/orange. But it’s the bark, which stays the same all through the year that makes me love the stewartias. Shades of brown and gray, stately and grand.”
For information about purchasing images or future shows, contact Helen at email@example.com.
I developed a passion for photography after receiving my first click n’ shoot camera in 2004. I would spend hours in my backyard and around my neighborhood shooting everything, most especially nature. In 2007, my husband and I took a trip to South Africa, so I purchased my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel, for the trip. I was so excited about photographing such a magical place that I took over 5000 photos during a 3 week period. 600 of them were shot in 3 hours as I watched a giraffe giving birth in the wild! After this adventure, I spent a lot of time trying to learn everything I could about photography.
In the spring of 2016, I entered the world of BOLLI. The first semester I took only one class, “Memoir Writing” with Jane Kays, and was not sure what to expect. Since I had spent my career in the world of science, I had decided to take classes in areas that I knew very little about and did not feel not good at. Writing fell into this category. After my first class, I wondered if I had made a good decision. Everyone in the class wrote wonderfully, and I did not feel that I belonged. In my professional career, I loved challenges and problem solving, so I bit the bullet and decided that I would do my best, even if I was the worst writer in the class! After all, I was doing this to expand my life experiences. In the end, this was the best class that I could have chosen as a first. I am a people person, and as everyone shared their personal experiences, I began to feel bonds with my classmates and BOLLI. The next semester, I was fortunate enough to get into Arthur Sharenow’s photography class which reignited my interest in photography. I have especially loved all of his photo outings! My passion for photography has grown, thanks to the photography classes that I have taken, and we now have the BOLLI Photography Group, which I am helping to facilitate.
OUR MOST RECENT PHOTO GROUP OUTING
On Friday morning, March 18th, nine members of the BOLLI Photography Group (Diane Becker, Linda Brooks, Maike Byrd, Bunny Cohen, Linda Dietrich, Rickey Ezrin, Carole Grossman, Sandy Miller-Jacobs, and I) met at the Wellesley College Botanical Gardens Visitor Center and toured the Margaret C. Fergus Greenhouses.
The greenhouses are warm in temperature, so we were able to leave our winter coats in the Visitor Center before we embarked on our walk through the five attached spaces. We spent about two hours meandering through the various houses where we shot lots of photos of unusual cacti and flowers.
Here is a “gallery” of some of the pictures that I took. (Put your cursor over each image to read its caption.)
Most of us will be going back for another visit to shoot all the amazing plants that we did not have time to get to on our first go-around..
To top off our photo shoot, six of us enjoyed a delicious lunch at Juniper Restaurant on Central Street in Wellesley!
Highlights of the Self-Guided Greenhouse Tour:
Desert House containing desert-dwelling plants from around the world; observation of desert adaptations; exploration of the concept of convergent evolution.
Tropic House with several layers of plantings; observation of adaptations to a rainforest environment; exploration of a bromeliad’s habitat.
Hydrophyte (Water) House containing pools filled with fish and water-growing plants.
Economic plants such as banana, coffee, sugar cane, papyrus; explanation of growth cycles and uses.
Tropical Pitcher Plants; discussion of the adaptation of these insect-eating plants to their environment.
Misters: being sprayed by the misters in the Fern House and propagation beds is often a highlight for elementary school kids!
The greenhouses are free, open from 8 am to 4 pm daily but closed on weekends during the summer. Parking in the Grey Lot is also free.
Helen Abrams, a second year BOLLI member who led the photography Special Interest Group’s recent tour of Mount Auburn Cemetery, reflects on Mount Auburn, and photography.
Being in nature led me to bird watching and photography. Living in Watertown, right next to Mount Auburn Cemetery, I was able to indulge both interests while also learning how to become a tour guide and docent. Over the past eight years, I’ve led tours on famous people (inventors, explorers, women reformers, artists), symbols of passage, Jews buried at Mt. Auburn and photography. After leading photo walks during the spring, summer, and fall, I decided to try a winter walk. I am particularly interested in photographing trees and have found that it is in the winter when their bark, seed pods and overall trunk and branch formations are the most sculptural. I invited Jim Gorman, one of the cemetery’s foremost horticulturalists, to join us.
After the tour, Helen reflected on the group’s venture.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Bright sun, fresh fallen snow, brisk but not windy. Since the walk started at 2 p.m., we got the long shadows of afternoon light which was especially interesting for photographing trees, grasses, and monuments.
The BOLLI group—including Martha Berardino, Maike Byrd, Ricky Ezrin, Joanne Fortunato, Dick Hanelin, and Arthur Sharenow—carpooled to Auburn Lake and parked along Oak Avenue. From there, we circumnavigated Auburn Lake, which has a great collection of unusual trees as well as long vistas with a bridge that cuts the lake in half. It’s sometimes called “Spectacle Pond” by birders.
As we walked, Jim talked about the trees. He talked about when they had been planted (especially those after the Hurricane of 1938), shared some historical facts about them (such as the discovery of the Metasequoia or Dawn Redwood that had been thought to be extinct), and what to expect from them at different seasons of the year. He pointed out pine cones, “antlers,” seed pods, and the famous Bald Cypress “knees.” Best of all, to me, was the array of unusual types of bark on the trees which, without leaves or flowers, were particularly handsome against the snow. A highlight was the Lacebark Pine with great patterns and shapes in blue and gray hues.
Having Arthur Sharenow on the tour was so helpful. He was so generous to everyone by sharing his great knowledge of photography. He gave us valuable insight into camera equipment, exposure settings, battery use in the cold, shooting from different perspectives, and more. Dick Hanelin, who admits to loving abstract work (or, to paraphrase him: “I hate literal shots”), spent much of the afternoon on the ground. He says it gave him a different vantage point for shooting at unusual angles.
By 3:30, we were back in our cars, heading home. All in all—great fun!
Helen enjoyed a career in healthcare which culminated in a fifteen year stint at Harvard University Health Services where she served as Director of Contract Management and Strategic Planning.
Seeing the Northern Lights is on my bucket list, and since sightings are never guaranteed, I may just fly to Tromso in Norway and stay there until I’ve had my fill! Three major personal interests evolved for me over the course of my working life: nature, travel, and learning. Finally retiring this past August, I’m now free to explore them full time.