Parks and Recreation

Menlo Park-based photographer Frances Freyberg is the featured artist this May at the Portola Art Gallery. The theme is “Views from the Trail,” photographs from her favorite hikes.

We feature four here, selected because they focus tightly on the subject matter. The Bay Checkerspot butterfly (top) was  photographed at Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve as was the newt (right). The flowers below are Tidy Tips, photographed on the Chimney Rock Trail at Point Reyes, and  Queen Anne’s Lace, photographed at McNee Ranch State Park near Montara.

Frances, who is a long time contributing photographer to InMenlo, initially became interested in photography when she was in college. “But it wasn’t until 2009 — with the help and encouragement of several close friends and artists — that I began exhibiting my photography publicly.

“One of the things I love about hiking or traveling with a camera is that I feel a heightened sense of awareness of my surroundings — both big and small. I’ve been asked before if being ‘behind the lens’ separates me from a scene or hinders me from being fully present in the moment, and I’ve found the exact opposite to be true. I tend to slow down — and notice more details — when I have my camera with me.”

Other photographs in the exhibit show the turquoise waters at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and fog weaving through the Santa Cruz mountains at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. Other featured trails include those at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Huddart Park,  Muir Woods National Monument, and Pearson-Arastradero Preserve.

“My love of photography is intertwined with my love of travel and nature — my passion for exploring new places, whether local or abroad, has always been inspired by photographs,” she said. “My goal is for my images to motivate and influence personal journeys in the same way that mine have been so deeply led by the images of others.”

In addition to signed and framed photographs, there will also be a variety of photo cards for sale.

The Portola Art Gallery is located within the Allied Arts Guild. (75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park). There will be a reception for Frances on Saturday, May 11, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at the Gallery.

Photos by Frances Freyberg (c) 2019; used with permission

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