Claire's extraordinary photos were recognized today on the National Garden Clubs' Facebook page.
Aside from five more exquisite photos like the one on this page, the organization recognized Claire's work with the following words:
"Claire Brown Stepleton is our photographer "Behind the Camera" this month.
"Claire picked up a camera as a hobbyist about 6 years ago. Having spent most of her life in Colorado and overseas, landscape and travel photography were natural areas to explore. She then tackled long exposure with sunrises, sunsets, waterfalls, and finally astrophotography. After moving her primary residence to New Jersey, Claire became active in the Garden Club of Montclair. Tending her beds at the Club’s Avis Campbell Gardens and hiking among Colorado wildflowers every summer inspired her to start photographing flowers and their pollinators. Claire’s ‘less is more’ philosophy is often reflected in her flora photos.
"With no formal training, Claire learns by watching videos, following photography groups online, attending workshops, and practicing in the field. Once she selects a project, she researches settings and equipment she will need, scouts the location and often makes several visits before ‘getting it right’. The 2017 solar eclipse was the first big project she researched and prepared for down to making a solar filter with a rubber band, sheet of ND5 film, and cardboard oatmeal canister!
"Claire hopes her photographs convey the awe she feels while hiking trails, working in the garden, or watching the stars. She also aims to spark curiosity: “Where does the trail lead?” “Why is the moon so huge on the horizon?”
"Claire is currently pursuing fast shutter speed subjects like birds in flight and moving animals but anything is fair game for her lens as long as it is outside!"
We have long recognized Claire's extraordinary talent. Now every gardener in America knows it. Congratulations, Claire!