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These images were submitted by Twillingate Photography Group member Nancy Wheeler.
Every year thousands of tourists flock to the scenic communities on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. The promise of whale and iceberg sightings, as well as the beauty in the rugged landscape, attracts people from all over the world.
About six years ago, Dave Clarke — originally from Twillingate — came up with the idea of forming a photography group on Facebook.
“It grew out of my interest in photography, and the natural beauty of our area,” he said. “While I can’t claim to be an expert in the mechanics of the art, I’ve always enjoyed capturing nature on film.”
Clarke got his first digital camera in late 2010. He wanted to show his work, as well as the work of other local photographers. His original intention for the group was to share images of Twillingate, however, he decided that it would be nice to also showcase photography from Twillingate, New World Island, Fogo Island and Change Islands.
“There are so many connections between these islands, it seemed natural to bring all these stunningly beautiful communities into the fold,” he said.
The Twillingate and the Isles photography group has grown significantly in the past six years. Originally there were 20-25 members that included Clarke, a few photographers and Facebook friends. As the group gained popularity over the years membership increased to 3,563.
Clarke is not surprised by the number of people who have joined.
“I’ve always had an appreciation for the beauty of this coast, and I think that’s something I have in common with many others,” he said.
Group member Nancy Rideout-Wheeler shares this same enthusiasm. A resident from Cottlesville, she has been interested in photography for as long as she can remember.
One of her favourite places to photograph is Webber’s Bight, Tizzard’s Harbour.
“The wide open beach, the waves, sun and moon combined, creates an almost spiritual feeling,” she said. “If you’ve never been there, you don’t know what you are missing. I see beauty in everything.”
Rideout-Wheeler enjoys enjoy seeing a variety of photos of the islands.
“Then I started sharing some of mine and I’ve gotten compliments from people who don’t even live in Newfoundland, but their family came from here and they appreciate the photos,” she said.
Clarke noted he also gets quite a bit of feedback from people who formerly lived in the area. These people see the group as a way of keeping in touch with their roots.
“These people appreciate our natural wonders just like everyone else, but they have that added longing for home, and can personally relate to so many of the people and places they see on the page,” he said.
Clarke says the group has taken on a life of it’s own, with many talented photographers contributing to the page.
“I’m constantly amazed at the natural beauty of this place, but I think I’m more blown away by the amount of talent we have in this small area,” he said, recognizing the technical skill of some local photographers and their ability to capture beautiful images and showcase the region.
“I don’t take credit for what they do, but if the photography group has provided them with a larger stage for their work then I think it’s mission accomplished.”