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Gerard Romano

PRETTY BIRD

Gerard Romano of Port Jefferson Station was walking along Van Brunt Manor road in Poquott on April 22 when this great egret popped its head out of the reeds. He writes, ‘I am not a wildlife photographer, but I gave this bird a go with my new Nikon 70-300mm lens. He was very elusive, but I managed to capture a photo of his pretty face.’

Straight out of a fairy tale

Gerard Romano of Port Jefferson Station ventured out in the rain on March 21 to capture this unique angle of the Stony Brook Grist Mill.

He writes, “Used my 10 mm f2.8  fish-eye lens and it didn’t disappoint. It captures every bit of color available. My lovely wife commented that scene looks like something from Hansel and Gretel.”

The Stony Brook Grist Mill is open to the public for guided tours with a miller on Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4:30 p.m., April 13 to Oct. 31.

Send your Photo of the Week to leisure@tbrnewspapers.com

‘TIS THE SEASON

While admiring the Promenade of Trees at the Stony Brook Village Center, Gerard Romano of Port Jefferson Station stopped in front of the clothing store LOFT and captured this festive scene using a wide-angle lens. The 66 decorated trees will remain on display through Jan. 1.

Send your Photo of the Week to leisure@tbrnewspapers.com.

PROTECTING ITS TURF

Gerard Romano of Port Jefferson Station encountered this guinea hen on a recent  outing to Satterly Landing along Shore Road in Mount Sinai. He writes “It was unreal. This bird was approaching my car in a threatening manner. A gentleman in another car laughingly advised me that more were on the other side of the car and had me surrounded. The way this bird walked reminded me of their ancestral raptors.”

Send your Photo of the Week to leisure@tbrnewspapers.com.

STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES

Gerard Romano of Port Jefferson Station snapped this photo of roses in the Village of Port Jefferson last week. He writes, ‘These red beauties were planted at the main entrance to Danfords Hotel. I positioned  my camera near the roses so that the gray and white railings provide a soft contrasting background.’

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‘Dingy Boat Rack’ (Brookhaven Town Marina, Mount Sinai) Photo by Gerard Romano

By Melissa Arnold

If you ask Gerard Romano how he’s feeling about his first ever photography exhibit opening this weekend, he’s quick to admit he never imagined this would happen.

“It seems like one minute I was submitting pictures to the local newspaper, and now there’s going to be an exhibit for [my pictures],” said the Port Jefferson Station resident. “I wasn’t expecting to do anything like this — the thought never crossed my mind before — so there was a lot to learn.”

Last year, Romano began to submit his photos to Times Beacon Record News Media’s weekly Photo of the Week series. Several of his photos were chosen over time, and eventually he was invited to submit a collection of his favorites for a two-page photo essay in the Arts & Lifestyles section. 

Now, Comsewogue Public Library in Port Jefferson Station is featuring Romano’s photographs in an exhibit he’s entitled Visions of the North Shore. The presentation will be on display in the library’s gallery throughout the month of July and will showcase images of this beautiful part of Long Island that we call home.

‘Low Tide’ (Stony Brook Harbor) by Gerard Romano

Romano’s interest in photography began more than 50 years ago, when he acquired a 35mm camera soon after he left the Army. “I enjoy creating images and seeing things differently through the lens of a camera,” said Romano, who went on to work as an engineer and auxiliary police officer for Suffolk County. After his retirement he became active in digital photography. “I find it very satisfying to share those images with other photographers around the world through the image sharing website Flickr,” he said.

That desire to share his work would become the spark leading to this exhibit. One day, while visiting Stony Brook Harbor, he met Donna Grossman who was instructing a plein air class through the Atelier at Flowerfield art school in St. James. He snapped a photo of the artist, and Grossman offered to critique his work. “She suggested doing an exhibit, and I thought it might be fun,” he recalled. 

Reached by phone, Grossman said that Romano was a talented observer of life on the North Shore. “I am happy that his work will finally be brought to the attention of the residents of this beautiful area. His show at Comsewogue Library is not to be missed,” she said.

Romano is happiest photographing the area he knows best — the landscapes and waters of the North Shore, especially its bluffs and beaches. Taking inspiration from Norman Rockwell, he also enjoys taking candid photos of people interacting with one another and recently began focusing on taking close-ups of flowers.

“I like to go out with a plan for the kind of photos I’m going to take, but mostly it depends on the weather,” Romano explained. “Stony Brook offers a beautiful harbor, a wonderful museum, the Village Center, the grist mill, Avalon Park and Preserve, and nearby Harmony Vineyards. I also love to take photos around Setauket’s historic district, Port Jefferson and Mount Sinai Harbor with the lobster boats.”

‘Seabird’ (Port Jefferson) by Gerard Romano

One of the photographer’s favorite images in the show is “Seabird,” an image of a seagull perched on a piling in Port Jefferson Harbor. “The gull let me get within three feet of him before flying away,” said Romano in disbelief. “It was very unusual.” 

To create his images, Romano uses two Nikon DSLR cameras, both equipped with BMP sensors. One camera has his all-purpose “walk around” 18-200mm zoom lens, which he uses most of the time. The other camera usually has a wide-angle lens. The photographer’s favorite is a 10.6mm fisheye lens for up close and personal shots. “It creates great special effects,” he explained.

Featuring over 45 images, the exhibit will display a variety of subjects, giving visitors a chance to find something that resonates with them. Its six sections will include seasonal landscapes, nautical photos, classic cars, Norman Rockwell-style color candids, black and white photos, and more.

Loretta Holtz, exhibit coordinator and head of adult services at Comsewogue Library said the library was happy to be showcasing the photographer’s work, adding, “Gerard Romano has captured so many wonderful scenes of our local area and we hope the community will take the time to visit the library gallery in July to see this exhibit.”

As he prepared for the exhibit’s opening a few weeks ago, Romano said that he didn’t realize how much work went into this kind of project. He and his wife Barbara Ann printed and framed each photo themselves, which had its own learning curve. It’s been hectic getting to this point, he said, but “it has also been a rewarding learning experience that has extended well beyond photography.”

Comsewogue Public Library is located at  170 Terryville Road, Port Jefferson Station. Viewing hours for the gallery are Monday to Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 631-928-1212.

‘AND THEN MY HEART WITH PLEASURE FILLS, AND DANCES WITH THE DAFFODILS’ – William Wordsworth 

Gerard Romano of Port Jefferson Station spotted these daffodils during a drive through the Village of Port Jefferson on April 30 and stopped to snap a photo. He writes, ‘I was delighted to see these beautiful flowers growing in the west retaining wall along Village Beach Road. The sun was behind them and they literally glowed in the afternoon sun.’

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