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Local photographer lends work to Nylander museum

CARIBOU, Maine — Scenic photos of the northern Maine wilderness, and the fauna within, are now on display at the Caribou Nylander museum into April of this year.  

Local photographer Rosalie K. Dwyer said Gail Hagelstein of the Nylander Museum board saw her photos and asked her if she would be interested in lending them to the museum. On Friday, Feb. 1, Dwyer hung eight photos along the walls of the museum.

Dwyer, who grew up in Connecticut, said her interest in photography began when she moved to The County in 1981 and had a chance to experience the myriad locales of untouched nature first-hand.

“No matter how many pictures you take,” she said, “you can never get as good as Mother Nature. A photo will never be as good as the three-dimensional experience of being there and feeling the wind blowing.”

At first, Dwyer took photos using film, but transitioned happily to digital photography years later.

“One time, when I still had a film camera,” she said. “I took the most fabulous picture of a mama bear and her baby. The mother had her chin on a split rail fence while watching her baby play. I was so excited about that picture and then someone stole my camera with the film still inside.”

Now, she uses a Canon Rebel DSLR with a plethora of lenses, and goes out into the woods “wherever and whenever,” with the sole intent of taking as many pictures as possible.

“I really love digital photography,” Dwyer said, “because you can take a million pictures and just delete the ones that didn’t come out well.”

Throughout her years as a photographer, Dwyer said she’s learned to “look up” more often, adding that an incredible photo could be directly above someone who only looks straight ahead.

“My husband, Jim Dwyer, is just as much a partner in this as I am,” Dwyer said. “If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be able to display the pictures as well. He frames all the photos, hangs them up, and does a lot to help.”

She said her husband also makes sure she doesn’t get too close to any potentially dangerous wild animals while taking pictures, something Dwyer said she often doesn’t worry about in the moment.

“He has to keep saying ‘Honey, that’s a wild animal. You probably shouldn’t get any closer,’” Dwyer said. “I’m so focused on taking the picture that I sometimes get into spaces that I probably shouldn’t.”

One such occasion of getting too close to comfort occurred when Dwyer, her husband and mother were visiting Baxter State Park and found a moose charging at them.

“The moose was coming at us and my husband was saying ‘Uh, ladies, back up. He’s going to go right over you if you don’t,’” Dwyer recalled. “Jim finally came and pulled my mother out of the way just in time. That moose was going from A to B and he didn’t care what was in the way.”

Thankfully, Dwyer came out of the moose encounter with a “great shot.”

Looking ahead, Dwyer plans on expanding her work to include offerings for people unable to either afford large framed photos or who do not have the room to hang them. This includes creating greeting cards, coasters and bookmarks offered at a lower price.

As far as going out and getting new photos, Dwyer said she has no plans on stopping any time soon.

“I will continue until I can no longer take photos,” she said.

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