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Wednesday, June 15,2011

Capturing the nuances of nature

When Carol Spry goes shooting in the forest, nobody gets hurt — she’s a wildlife photographer

by Fiona Guo

Carol Spry has been working as a nurse at Sparrow Hospital for 19 years. But the  Mason woman hasn’t lost sight of one of her favorite childhood hobbies: photographing nature.


 “When I was 13 or 14, I got a camera and I started taking pictures," Spry said. "Then as I got older I continued doing it.”


As a mother of five, she didn’t have much time for taking photographs when her kids were little.


“Now that my children are older, I picked it up again about seven years ago,” Spry said.


Her photography landed her a slot as a featured artist in the cafe at the Eastwood Schuler Books & Music location.


The show came about through a chance encounter at another
café in the Meridian Mall. Spry was talking to a woman who turned out to
be the manager of the Schuler cafés. She asked Spry to let her see the
photos. 


“She asked me have I ever been a featured artist before,
and I said no. She told me that Schuler’s does that, but there is a
one-year waiting list,” Spry said.


“She said she would call me back — and she called me the
next day. It just never happened before: She somehow had an opening.
It’s so exciting.”


Spry was born in Chicago and grew up in Princeton, N.J.
She moved to Mason about three years ago because she has family here.
Spry says her grandmother grew up in the Upper Peninsula, and Spry loves
to go to the U.P.  and Wisconsin to look for inspiration.


She also likes to go out to nature trails to see what she
finds. For example, she often goes to Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids and
walks the lengthy trail around the grounds and through the surrounding
woods.


Sometimes she sits for hours to get the right shot of a raccoon, fox, deer or any other animal that may happen to wander by. 


“There was a time when I saw a red tail hawk; she’s white, but her tail is red," Spry said.


"Her mate is a normal color. I sat behind trees and
watched them and tried to get pictures. I spent a lot of time sitting
there, enjoying watching the birds. The bird screamed at me every time
she saw me.”


She also captured an image of a dragonfly with lips to rival Angelina Jolie.


“Photography has just opened up a whole new door in my
life," Spry said. "People are too busy with life to keep going. I was
having kids. Photography got put out of my mind because I couldn’t do it
anymore. Then I went to school and became a nurse."


After graduating, "I started living life again," she said.
"Then I started picking up the things that I loved again. Photography
came back. It’s a long long call.”


Carol Spry
Nature photography
Featured artist through July 31
Schuler Books & Music
2820 Towne Center Blvd.,
Lansing
Free
(517) 316-7495
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