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Hikes Offer Snapshots of Nature

Audubon Greenwich has always been a haven for nature lovers, but thanks to a series of photo hikes led by photographer Dan Burns, it’s also a retreat for novice snapshot takers and photo buffs alike.

“I’m not taking as many pictures, but I’m getting to know people,” said Burns, a renowned sports photographer, who connected with Audubon after hosting a presentation there on his 2009 photography of bald eagles in Alaska. “It’s my ambition that we take more trips here and I’m looking to start more of a club-type atmosphere … no matter what level of photography they’re on.”

Kicking off its first hike on June 13, a group of 15 aspiring and professional photographers hit the trails at the environmental sanctuary with Burns and Audubon Greenwich’s Events and Communications Manager Jeff Cordulack.

In his element at a trail guide, Cordulack pointed out potential snapshots for the group—bees suckling pollen from flowers, dragonflies buzzing through tall grasses, and the highlight of the trip, a pond chock-full of frogs.

Professional travel photographer Judy Onthank of Greenwich said she thought the event was successful. “I enjoyed today,” she said. “I think that it was a combination of seeing nature, meeting some interesting photographers and talking about equipment, which is always fun.”

Whether sharing photography tips, arguing over the benefits and drawbacks of different camera brands, or pointing out insects and amphibians in the wilderness, the group showed great enthusiasm for the photo hike.

First time visitor and amateur photographer, Linda Goodyear of Darien said of the event, “I think it’s great! My problem is I need to understand my camera a little better. I thought it would just be fun to see their approach and certainly they’re knowledgeable and interesting.”

Two active-duty Army and Wounded Warrior members hailing from New Milford, Jeff Luca and Richard Walket, were in attendance, via a contact Burns had made months ago.

“We’re just getting into photography ourselves so this is a chance to see the type of equipment and know what to buy for us. It helps to see what the pros use and what they [the cameras] can do,” said Luca.

By the end of the trek, the pleased hikers were already making plans for a return trip to upcoming Audubon photo hikes on June 17, July 17 and 18. Information on future hikes and other events can be found at audubongreenwich.com.

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