What Nanci Natale’s Eye Perceives: Photographs at Darien Rowayton Bank

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The beauty Nanci Natale sees in a tree, a barn or another outdoor scene is something you, too can see at her photo exhibit showing through the end of the month (11 more days) at the Darien Rowayton Bank.

Sometimes it’s an old barn, sometimes a spare, new one; early on, she concentrated more on trees; another picture, from a walk on a beach in Darien, is one of her award winners.

“I like to have one central object, but minimalist backgrounds,” said Natale, who’s also had a creative outlet with her column, “Darien Unexpected,” in the Darien Times.

Last March, she wrote about the atmosphere of a cold winter day: “Then I look into the woods and everything has a blush from the white ground cover, deep snow pockmarked with delicate bird footprints creating an unusual pattern to the landscape, and it’s truly peaceful and beautiful.  There is something about the light in the frigid late afternoon, the days slowly getting longer, the sun a watery silver-gold casting a glow to everything, almost infusing us with an energizing dose of extra light missing for the past few months!”

She’s been taking photographs in earnest for 35 years, mostly for fun, although she sells her pictures as well. She was involved with a photography club in Stamford called “The Vicious Circle” in the 1980s and ’90s and participated in various photography shows in coffee shops and elsewhere, including at the Palace Theater in Stamford. She’s also submitted photographs for Darien Arts Center shows, some of which have won awards.

For someone who’s used to nondigital photography, the transition to digital comes with a feeling of loss: “I really like going through a box of old photos,” she says. “With digital cameras it’s not the same.” She plans to take a class on advanced digital photography, in good part to deal with the organizing of old photos.

Photography is an art form that many people can get into, Natale said. “You don’t need a $3,000 camera — you just need to have that particular kind of eye and perception.”

Her father was an avid photographer, and she’s got a shelf full of his old cameras, and her three grown sons have all won awards for their artwork — in cartooning, watercolors and other media.

Natale’s family has been in town for 105 years, and she lives in a house her grandmother bought for $2,500.

She is also active in town government and politics: She serves on the Republican Town Committee and on the Channel 79 Advisory Board.

Nanci Natale’s photographs can be seen at Darien Rowayton Bank‘s main branch office at 1001 Post Road, downtown, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays (except until 6 p.m. on Thursdays); and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. She also posts many of her pictures on her Facebook page.