Diana Poulos-Lutz knows what the beach looks like in the dead of winter.
It’s one of the natural beauties she discovered through photographing nature on Long Island.
“As much as I love traveling myself and seeing new places, we have so much beauty here,” Poulos-Lutz said. “And many of us, myself included, don’t even know about all the species of wildlife.”
Long Island nature is the focus of Poulos-Lutz’s exhibit “Our Connection to Nature: A Photographic and Literary Exhibit” at Clark Botanic Garden that runs until July 20. The exhibit is open during garden hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily.
Poulos-Lutz is a Long Island native. She grew up in New Hyde Park and currently lives in Mineola. She also works in the library at Floral Park Memorial High School, and previously worked as an administrative assistant at Herricks.
Despite her Long Island roots, it wasn’t until she discovered photography in adulthood that Poulos-Lutz started to recognize the beauty in her own backyard, she said.
Before she discovered photography, Poulos-Lutz enjoyed writing as a creative outlet, she said.
Through studying transcendentalist writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Poulos-Lutz fell into her love for nature.
“As I got older and had a child, I wanted to share that love of nature and joy and fulfillment I had received from my connection with nature with others,” Poulos-Lutz said. “I felt the best way to do that, in my experience, was sharing photos.”
Once Poulos-Lutz started shooting, she developed a love for capturing her own perception of what she saw – as well as comparing it with other photographers, she said.
“How they perceived the same bird or same sunset … our photographs may look very different depending on how we see it,” Poulos-Lutz said.
On top of capturing nature’s beauty, photographs also allowed Poulos-Lutz to learn more about the nature she was shooting, she said.
Poulos-Lutz said she would take a photo of a bird and was able to go home and figure out what species it was.
Without her camera, she may not have remembered the details as well to look them up in a guide, Poulos-Lutz said.
“The use of my camera has helped me learn more about wildlife on Long Island and different birds and butterflies and flowers, all things like that,” Poulos-Lutz said.
Poulos-Lutz said it feels wonderful to have her work on display and be able to share her love of nature with other people.
She said she hopes her work can inspire others, even if it’s just using their phones, to get out and discover the nature that surrounds them.