Photography opens new doors for Grandma Gwen
Photography opens new doors for Grandma GwenGAIL SCHONTZLER, Chronicle Staff Writer The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Gwen Morgan’s husband gave her a digital camera for Christmas 10 years ago, never thinking it might change her life.
She took her first photos of ducks on a pond and was astonished to see the images on a computer screen.
Then she started selling at the Gallatin Farmers Market, first photos and later notecards. “It snowballed from there.”
One of her most popular images is “Three Colts and a Cat.” She was photographing three yearling colts, nicely grouped at a feed trough, when “a cat hopped up there to say hi. I snapped the picture.” She can’t keep it in stock.
“It started as a hobby,” she said. “Now it’s a business.”
She even makes her own frames from scratch.
Gray-haired, short and a grandmother four times over, 60-year-old Morgan doesn’t fit the image of a macho wildlife photographer. Yet she has taken handsome photos of bison, raptors, Canada geese, deer and other wildlife.
She learned to sidle up to wild animals, not looking at them directly, so they won’t feel threatened. Great patience helps.
Morgan said the thing that really changed her life was cataract surgery. Afterward, colors were “just wow … Detail was so brilliant and sharp. I got an appreciation for seeing things.
“Between the cataract surgery and photography, it’s awakened a curiosity, a childlike curiosity almost,” she said. “It has made me rich in that respect.”
She wears out a camera a year. She likes her Nikon digital single lens reflex camera for its flip-out screen. “It comes in handy for short grandmas.”
“I like to show people what they’re missing,” Morgan said. “People have tunnel vision, they don’t notice what’s around them. We live in such a beautiful place.”