Bob Middleton, 76, Waitsfield has not spoken for nine months.
â€œThe pandemic has been a stressful time for me, bringing with it fear, anxiety, isolation and discontent,â€ he said.
Frustrated by disrespecting social distancing, mask warrants and other regulations, Middleton, who lives in Evergreen Place, posted a notice on her door that read, “I had taken a vow of silence and I didn’t. communicate with anyone, with the exception of law enforcement, firefighters and medical personnel and any other rescuers. About this period, he said, â€œMy rather harsh posture for nine months had positive effects in making me feel more secure, but had a direct impact on my intense feeling of isolation. Living alone, with the exception of my cat, Summer, and having no relatives in the world, I was truly isolated. Isolation has been a common experience for many during the pandemic, but, through her silence, Middleton has found another way to express herself by sharing her photographs.
An avid photographer, he chose to exhibit and sell some of his striking nature photos taken around the world between 1980 and 2000. He attributes his interest in photography to receiving a Kodak Brownie camera at age 8 years old. During his career he was curator of minerals and gemstones at museums such as the National Museum of Canada in Ottawa, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.
On his website, www.goldasgreen.com (named after Walt Whitman’s poem “Nothing Stays Gold”), nearly 50 vivid photos are found, both in black and white and in brilliant color depicting natural scenes. from another world – water lilies in Sweden, kangaroos in Australia and Ancient Pencil Pines in Tasmania. Much of his work is inspired by his travels around the world.
THE NATURAL WORLD
â€œI am primarily inspired by the natural world and most of my photographs capture pristine scenes of human activity; I never photograph people. I prefer national parks, native forests, UNESCO World Heritage sites and am captivated by ancient trees, such as those found in the cool temperate rainforests of the Australian island / state of Tasmania. I also find inspiration in some historical sites, particularly in the Southwestern United States. El Rancho de las Golondrinas (the â€œRanch of the Swallowsâ€), an ancient historical treasure, south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is my favorite, â€explained Middleton. .
The photographs displayed on his website are reminiscent of the days of analog photography and show his meticulous patience and attention to detail. On her blog, Middleton tells the story of a hike in Acadia National Park in the pre-digital age and tries to capture the right light to snap a photo of a remarkably blue seashell in the forest. So, he said, he could have just picked up the shell and fired it under more favorable conditions, that’s not his style.
With her work, Middleton said, â€œI hope to convey the remarkable beauty and soothing inspiration that can be found in the shadows of secret places that are often far from today’s tourist trails. Natural beauty such as the scenes I photographed are a kind of balm to allay the troubles, worries, fears and disappointments of today’s world. They remind us that whatever struggles we face, the beauty of nature is always there, waiting to be experienced and appreciated by all, with benefits for the soul, spirit, body and will of all. ‘move forward in the face of adversity. “
Due to health concerns and other factors, Middleton hasn’t taken photos in recent years, but he hopes to visit places like Warren Falls and Blueberry Lake to take new photos soon.
“Flowing water always attracts me as a photographic subject,” he said.
Middleton has lived in The Valley for 15 years. He describes the landscapes of The Valley as â€œvery attractive and inspiringâ€. He has never shown his work in a gallery or exhibition, but said he would be “delighted” to be able to present his work publicly. He plans to take a series of photographs around the Mad River Valley, possibly along the Mad River Path or in other areas known for their natural beauty.
â€œIt took me 75 years to reach a point where I feel a strong desire to share [my photographs] with the public. Although I strongly sense the reality that my time is limited, I feel a compelling need in these perilous times to make them available so that others can have insight and peace, â€he noted.
When asked what he liked about photography, Middleton said: â€œThe shutter of a camera, its lens, the internal electronics and the recording medium, whether they are ‘a film or digital memory, is a powerful tool that can capture a moment in time. He can convey the scene he captured so that other people across the world can almost feel like they are there with you and experience what you saw and felt. It is an extremely powerful tool that allows the viewer to expand their world, attain perspective, knowledge and wisdom, and see firsthand what a remarkable world we inhabit.
Find Middleton’s work at www.goldasgreen.com.