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Samarkand Staffer to Exhibit Photos from Galapagos Islands

Pam Bigelow will share the best of her collection, beginning with an Aug. 6 reception

In a fine art digital photography exhibit of the wildlife of the Ecuadorean archipelago, The Samarkand retirement community will show the work of community marketing director Pam Bigelow.

An Artist’s Reception will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6. The Galapagos Islands exhibit will be available for viewing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Aug. 6 through Sept. 30 in the Fireside Room at The Samarkand, 2550 Treasure Drive in Santa Barbara.

Growing up in Youngstown, Ohio, in the era of the Kodak Instamatic, Bigelow took the requisite snapshots of friends and special events. When she received a Canon AE-1 for Christmas in 1980, her interest in photography grew to 8-by-10 proportions.

She took a couple of photography courses for fun during college at North Park University in Chicago, and further honed her skills during family trips to the Caribbean.

She acquired a few different lenses and filters to increase her range. With no additional formal training, her talent is largely natural and self-taught.

In 2009, preparing to realize a lifelong dream of taking a South African photo safari, Bigelow bought a digital camera and a couple lenses, something she had delayed as long as possible. It’s a good thing she packed the digital; she took more than 8,800 photographs during her trip!

She documented that trip with a Samarkand showing called “The Wilds of Africa in Zulu Nyala.”

The safari confirmed what Bigelow suspected because of her passion for zoos and aquariums — she loves photographing animals in their habitat. When a friend suggested a trip to the Galapagos Islands, Bigelow didn’t need to be convinced. Pre-trip, Samarkand residents shared information and tips from their own trips to the Galapagos.

The adventure was enthralling on land and in the water. The digital camera got another workout, with Bigelow taking more than 12,000 photos, including shots with a new underwater camera. The current exhibit will consist of the best of her collection.

— Colette Claxton represents The Samarkand.

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