Bob Paetschow’s Nature Photography at the Ramsdell

From now through the 10th of July, The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts is proudly displaying the stunningly beautiful nature photography of long time Manistee resident, Bob Paetschow.

Bob’s expansive body of work is the result of a lifetime passion for capturing the splendor of Michigan wildlife, for which he is recognized by a wide and growing audience.

Bob’s interest started as a child when he followed his Dad, an offset cameraman, around the darkroom. His job was agitating the film. In the 70’s, after his longtime friend, Bill Ferguson bought a Pentax camera, Bob plunged in.

He bought his own camera, set up a darkroom and began working, reading and studying. He took classes at WSCC where he also worked in the AV Dept.

That led him to the Manistee News Advocate where he worked for many years as staff photographer, followed by 21 years at Hokanson’s Camera where he, once again, teamed up with Ferguson.

Each experience allowed him to stretch his talent and fine tune his technical skills, which are evident in his impressive work; most notably his photography of birds.

As Bob explains, “With a camera, I became fascinated by the natural world: bugs, birds and the beautiful Michigan scenery.”

His first bird photo was of a rose-breasted Grosbeak taken in black and white with a Minolta SRT and 135mm lens. Bob added, “At the time, I hoped that someday I would be able to afford a longer lens.”

Today, he has quite an arsenal of equipment and camouflage to enable him to capture even the shyest of subjects. The other necessity for success is extreme patience.

He spends hours quietly waiting for the perfect shot. He tells of waiting for over an hour in a full Gilley Suit with a grass-like hood and parka watching a female Ruby-crowned Kinglet. She finally turned and showed herself allowing for a spectacularly detailed photo. But according to Bob, “I couldn’t believe it was over an hour; it felt like five minutes.”

As Bob’s wife Cindy puts it, “Bob works really hard on his photographs.” In fact, he is out most everyday pursuing the next great shot. On any given day, he can be found on First Street pier, Bar Lake Outlet, Penny Park or by the fish cleaning station. Other haunts include the Manistee Marsh on M-55 or Linke’s Pond, where he advises to watch out for ticks.

Several of his notable works were taken near the many feeders in his own back yard. Truly, for anyone looking to be reminded of the breathtaking beauty in Northern Michigan, Bob Paetschow’s show will be a revelation. For those who already follow the breadth and scope of his collection this is an opportunity to see it on display.

The show is open in Hardy Hall at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The entrance is on First Street. During the Forest Festival, the show will be open June 29 through July 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A reception for Bob with food and beverages is planned for July 10 from 10 a.m. until noon, where Bob will be speaking about his photography. All are invited to attend. Docents are still needed. Those who would like to help out should contact the Ramsdell at (231) 398-9770.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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