ATKINSON — Eva McDermott bought her first camera when she was in high school, almost 40 years ago, and she said telling stories through her photography has been her passion ever since.
Now, the Atkinson-based photographer’s work is displayed at an exhibit titled “Art in Nature” at the Kimball Library through Jan. 17.
“‘Stunning’ is the word that you often hear,” Lois Powers, who works in technical services and adult programs at Kimball Library, referring to patrons’ reactions to McDermott’s photos. “She really captures the image. It's funny, because there is not one particular favorite that everyone likes. They are all so unique.”
According to McDermott, who moved to Atkinson from Massachusetts about 10 years ago, she draws most of her inspiration from nature.
“I used to go hiking a lot, and I would bring my camera,” she said. “I started in film, and I loved it as a hobby.”
McDermott said she developed a passion for photography over the years and even built her own dark room at her home where she developed both black and white and color images.
Today, McDermott mainly shoots digital photographs and focuses on landscapes and nature photography. She said many of her pictures are taken abroad, and a recent exhibit at the Hampstead Public Library showcased her recent trip to Ireland and Scotland.
“I travel quite a bit — out west, to various natural parks,” McDermott said. “Ireland and Scotland have amazing light. The light is definitely different in Scotland. You get really dramatic skies when the light peaks through the clouds and you get these streaks of light on the landscape. It is something to see.”
The exhibit currently on display at the Kimball Library focuses on finding unexpected, abstract beauty in nature.
“It is abstract, but you know what you are looking at,” Power said. “It’s like pebbles, but you see the beauty of it. She has one of a canyon and you just see the light and the amazing beauty of it.”
McDermott said the goal of the exhibit is to look at the ordinary in new ways and to tell a story.
“A lot of people just walk by a leaf on new-fallen snow or bubbles in ice,” McDermott said, “but there is beauty there. Just go out there and look for it.”
She added that she has multiple exhibits in New England planned for 2020, including at the Plaistow and Hampstead Public Libraries.
Powers said she hopes the Kimball Library will host another McDermott exhibit soon.
"We definitely want to work with her in future," Powers said. "She is someone that is so skilled in her craft. She likes being able to show all aspects of photography to the public. She is gifted and so open about sharing her talents."