Decorah photographer Ellen Macdonald is exhibiting her photos at the Decorah Chamber Office for the month of November.

The Winneshiek County  Convention and Visitors Bureau (WCCVB) is hosting an artist’s reception for Macdonald Friday, Nov. 6, at 5 p.m., at the Decorah/Winneshiek County Visitors Center.

This exhibit is a celebration of the treasures found in area parks, and of the work of Mary Lewis and Beth Lynch who for 14 years have kept garlic mustard under control. The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation will present the Hagie Award to Lewis and Lynch Friday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m., in Phelps Park.

About the artist
Ellen Macdonald has been a resident of Decorah since 1981. She has been a serious amateur photographer for about 45 years. Earlier than that, her first camera was a Brownie Hawkeye, a birthday present when she was 10. Macdonald considers her photographic life as being divided into “before” and “after” digital. Being a frugal person, in the days of film and developing and printing, she was always concerned about the cost of an extra shot or two. Digital liberates one from that.

Having a black and white darkroom in her basement back in the ‘70s was great fun, Macdonald says; but she loves color, rich and deep. She tends to underexpose a bit to make the colors more saturated. Often there are blocks of black in a photo, as a contrast to the color of delicate flowers.

Ellen is a hiker and especially loves the woods in the spring when they are open and unshaded by heavy foliage. Over the last six years, she has become concerned about invasive species of plants, especially garlic mustard. She was a founder of Friends of Decorah Parks, devoted to keeping garlic mustard out of the 300 acres of woods owned by Decorah Park and Rec.

About the photographs
The exhibit consists of 14 8 x 10 color prints of spring wildflowers seen in the woodlands of the Decorah parks. They were printed on an HP Deskjet printer, using HP Premium Plus paper and HP ink cartridges.

Macdonald has shared many park pictures with the Park and Rec webpages: She also posts photos to Flickr and has many park pictures there: