Audubon photographer’s favorite images on view in Falmouth

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FALMOUTH — A lot of patience, waiting and hoping go into getting a good wildlife photo.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, Ariana van den Akker, photo and video fellow at Maine Audubon, will show the fruits of her labor.

The exhibit of photos made by van den Akker over the past year will be part of Maine Audubon’s annual Holiday Bazaar, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Gilsland Farm.

The bazaar will also include made-in-Maine items, such as Black Dinah chocolate, Passamaquoddy organic maple syrup, and ThinkGreene handprinted tea towels. In addition, guest artists Jada and Nancy Fitch will be on hand.

Van den Akker described the exhibition of her nature photography as a “favorite photos of 2017 show. People can expect to see a variety of photos encompassing all of the seasons. There’s (also) a lot of color.”

The prints will be for sale and proceeds will benefit Maine Audubon.

“The best part of being the staff photographer is how much I’ve learned about the natural world in Maine during the past year,” said van den Akker, who has been with Maine Audubon since January.

She has accompanied naturalist Doug Hitchcox as he chased rare birds, and visited the various sanctuaries owned and operated by the organization.

“I learn something new every day, either from photographing programs, learning from coworkers, or doing research about the animals or places I photograph,” van den Akker said.

“(I’ve) been introduced to some beautiful places and wildlife in Maine, like our puffin cruise around Eastern Egg Rock. The sanctuaries are peaceful and there’s nothing better than having the time to walk the trails and photograph birds and trees and natural scenes.”

One of her favorite spots, she said, is the Hamilton Sanctuary in West Bath, “especially in the winter.” The sanctuary includes 93 acres between the New Meadows River and Back Cove.

“One of the greatest challenges in nature photography is balancing getting close for a better photo with not disturbing the animal,” van den Akker said. “Birds especially tend to move a lot, so that can be challenging too.”

Van den Akker has a degree in photojournalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before coming to Maine Audubon, she was an intern photographer at newspapers from California to New Hampshire.

She also worked as a photographer and program leader in Southeast Asia for an experiential education company.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

A photo by Ariana van den Akker that is included in an exhibit of her work opening Saturday, Dec. 2, at Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm in Falmouth.

Ariana van den Akker is the photo and video fellow at Maine Audubon.