Blizzard' of photographs tamed by technology

Created date

April 27th, 2010

[caption id="attachment_11698" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Harriet Blizzard uses her second bedroom at Brooksby Village as a playroom, where she edits her photos with computer software."]Brooksby Village apartment home. Blizzard typically spends a few hours each day in her second bedroom, working with the 2,000 photos she s scanned to her Macintosh computer. One of them, featuring a snow-covered mountainside in Greenland, became the homemade holiday card she printed and sent to 90 family members and friends. Currently, she is combing through the collection to create special albums on CDs for her two children and five grandchildren.

Two passions

Everybody needs to have a focus, says Blizzard. Everyone is happier and healthier if they have something they can participate in and enjoy. Blizzard s love for photography is evident even outside her apartment home door, where she displays a framed photograph that she swaps out every couple of weeks. On this particular day, it is a lush landscape of Ireland. Inside the apartment, geometric shots of Saint Stephen s Cathedral in Vienna, rooftops in Denmark and (former) Yugoslavia, and an Alaskan skyline tell the story of her years of travel. Travel has been a central part of Blizzard s life, usually in the company of her late husband and their two children. When Blizzard s children were young, she and her husband took them camping across the U.S. and part of Canada. After their children headed to college, Blizzard s husband took a sabbatical from teaching and the two went to England for four months. Once you start that route, it gets under your skin, [and] you want to travel, Blizzard says. That they did, exploring Scandinavia, England, and South America, which included a trip to Brazil s Iguassu Falls, the largest waterfall in the world and Blizzard s most memorable photographic experience. It was also when Blizzard s son went to college that she took up photography. When he came home for the summer, she called upon him for his photography skills. I said, Well, Jim, you re going to teach me how to use a camera, she recalls. Blizzard spent that summer poring over the stack of photography magazines her son gave her and diligently absorbing his instruction. With his help, she purchased a mid-range camera, which thereafter went with her on many world travels. Photos from Blizzard s travels have also graced the tables at Brooksby s annual Craft Fair, which raises money for the community s scholarship fund each November. Blizzard has never used a flash or lens filters, and with the exception of a couple of one-day seminars in Boston, she hasn t had any formal photography training. But, she says, I m able to see what makes a picture, and that, I d say, is the true gift.

Pioneering projects

Today, Blizzard parlays her creativity into her existing photos with Adobe Photoshop, a photo editing software, and she is learning to use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, a photo management software that will help with her current photo organization project. She plans to use it to label and organize her thousands of photos. Blizzard has little difficulty diving into the unknown. She was one of the first 100 people to move toBrooksbyin 2000, making her a pioneer. She selected her apartment home, which hadn t been built, from a piece of paper, she says. I m an adventurous person, and I thought it looked good; it sounded sound, she explains. She found her instincts to be true. Once there, she helped organize Brooksby s Protestant community. She still serves on Brooksby s Welcoming Committee, talking with people new to the community. As a member of the Classical Concert Committee, she arranges for outside musicians to perform atBrooksby. She is also responsible for typing up the minutes from the concert committee s meetings. In her spare time, Blizzard reads novels on her Amazon Kindle, a wireless electronic reading device she is learning to use. Back in her playroom, Blizzard faces her computer, across from a closet housing meticulously labeled boxes of slides. These thousands of images, containing photos of family and Blizzard s travels to various parts of the world, have yet to be scanned to the computer that is the next project.