‘There are things in your backyard you wouldn’t believe’
By Alison Rooney
Be patient. Get lucky. Look up. Look down. Train your eye to notice the slightest movement.
Those are the succinct suggestions of Bob Nobile, whose wildlife photography, along with that of his wife, Diana, is on display through March at McCaffrey’s Realty on Main Street, where Bob is an agent.
If you’re observant, “there are things in your backyard you wouldn’t believe,” he says, such as the chipmunk Diana photographed snacking on a violet.
Bob took up photography to document his daughter Chantelle when she played basketball for Haldane High School. Diana, a former high school biology and environmental science teacher, soon caught the shutter bug, as well.
They gravitated to nature photography because “both of us spent hours in the woods,” recalls Bob, who grew up in Garrison after his parents moved there in 1946. Diana, formerly Diana Stevenson, grew up in Cold Spring. In their first home, on Nelson Lane in Garrison, “we hid behind the trees to watch the bird life,” Bob recalls. They now live in Fort Montgomery, near parkland.
The images on display were culled from a collection of — no exaggeration — 15,000 photos, he said. They were taken in the Highlands as well as in Florida and New Jersey, where the couple have a second home near a nature preserve. A monitor at the McCaffrey office displays 800 images in a rotating slide show.
“You never know when you’ll get a lucky shot,” says Bob. “Diana encountered a fawn just after it was born. It was young enough to have no fear, and she was able to photograph it from just 2 or 3 feet away. In the Everglades, we came upon an alligator chasing another alligator out into the woods, and a river otter teasing an alligator, chattering, diving in, unintimidated.”
Diana says that while wildlife photography requires “patience and observation and an eye for composition, most of all, you need a compassionate feeling, love and awe for all living organisms!”
Below are selections of their work, with commentary from Bob.