By Angeljean Chiaramida STAFF WRITER
---- — SEABROOK — William Dow takes the kind of photographs that can make people stop in their tracks, but they’re even more impressed after learning he’s only 12 years old and got his first camera about four months ago.
The son of Mary and Todd Dow, of Seabrook, the seventh grader at Seabrook Middle School earned a third place ribbon in September in the under 18-year old category of the New Hampshire’s Massabesic Audubon Center’s annual Wild New Hampshire Photography Contest. The award-winning shot is of a snowy white egret stretched in flight, stark against a blue sky with the sun shining through its wings.
“It kept flying over my grandmother’s house on South Main Street, and I kept shooting,” William said. “I used a 300-millimeter lens.”
The lens was attached to the Nikon 3100 that his mother, also an amateur photographer, bought him for his birthday this summer. They were in Staples shopping when he spotted it, he said, so he started lobbying.
“I’ve been telling my mother I wanted a camera for a while and I talked her into buying that one,” William said. “My mother and I always have a competition to see who takes the best pictures.”
“And he usually wins,” Mary Dow said. “For just being 12 years old, William is out-shooting me. He’s taken so many amazing photos.”
William’s fan base is growing, too.
Seabrook Middle School asked for copies of Williams snowy owl pictures for the wall of a conference room there, Mary Dow said, And a number of his photos, including the recent award winner, line the walls at Seabrook’s branch of Provident Bank. The financial institution is known for showcasing local talent in its “Lobby for the Arts” program.
And his shot of a diving sea gull caught the eye of Salisbury Beach businessman Wayne Capolupo, president of Salisbury’s SPS New England and the Seaglass restaurant. William’s work came to Capolupo’s attention because Todd Dow works for SPS.
Although Capolupo originally wanted the print for Seaglass, he admits for the past few weeks he’s kept in on the walls at his SPS office to enjoy.
‘I think William’s work is wonderful; he’s one of the finest young talents I’ve ever come across,” Capolupo said. “He has the patience and technical skills to take amazing pictures.”
William took the diving gull picture at Seabrook Harbor.
“There were a million gulls on the beach that day,” he said. “This gull just kept diving and I kept snapping. When I looked at this shot, I said: ‘That’s it, I’m done.’ “
For those starting out, young or not so young, William said wonderful subjects in nature are close at hand.
“My advice to someone getting started is to go out in your back yard and take pictures of the birds and the flowers,” William said. “There’s a lot there. That’s how I started.”
Drawn to photography because he believes it will be an asset for a position as a fish and game warden, which he hopes to become one day, right now William’s favorite subject is wildlife. He admits patience can be a valuable attribute in taking the perfect shot of animals.
But soon, he’ll have to be patient when shooting a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
“Can you believe it?” Mary Dow said. “He’s been hired to shoot a wedding in May.”