Phillipston photographer wins in Mass Audubon contest

Norm Eggert’s photo of his wife on a kayak at Tully Lake was named the winner in the “People in Nature Over 18” category in Mass Audubon’s “Picture This: Your Great Outdoors” contest.

Norm Eggert’s photo of his wife on a kayak at Tully Lake was named the winner in the “People in Nature Over 18” category in Mass Audubon’s “Picture This: Your Great Outdoors” contest. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/NORM EGGERT

By MAX BOWEN

Athol Daily News Editor

Published: 01-05-2024 4:44 PM

Modified: 01-07-2024 10:30 AM


PHILLIPSTON — A casual kayak ride on Tully Lake has become an award-winning photo for Norm Eggert.

The picture shows Norm’s wife Cheryl near the lake’s boat launch, framed by trees in the morning light, and was chosen by Mass Audubon as the winner in the “People in Nature Over 18” category in the “Picture This: Your Great Outdoors” contest. Held each year, the contest saw over 5,000 entries from across the state.

Norm, a Phillipston resident, said he submitted nature and animal photos to the Mass Audubon contest, as well as the one of his wife on Tully Lake. That particular photo was taken on taken on Aug. 12, 2012. Norm said he was surprised to learn that he was among the winners.

“There are some excellent nature photographers in the area, some beautiful photos,” he said. “I was very happy.”

Norm said his wife had stopped paddling for a moment and he just knew it was a great opportunity, particularly with the lighting and the trees framing the scene. He used a Canon 50D with 28-105 millimeter lens and said the brand has been a favorite of his for some time. Norm said lighting is the best indicator of the right time to take photos.

“The light was what really drew me to it,” he said. “If it had been taken in the middle of the day, it wouldn’t have worked so well.”

Norm added that Tully Lake, located in Royalston, is a great place to take photos.

“The best place to go is the river, Tully River,” said Norm. “It’s very quiet usually and if you’re there at the right time it’s very nice, very picturesque.”

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The contest’s grand prize winner, Cheryl Rose of Hopkinton, will have her photo of a Sundew plant featured in “Explore,” Mass Audubon’s member newsletter. The 11 other winners, including Norm, may have their works used in future Mass Audubon products, with credit given to the photographers, according to a spokesperson.

Norm’s interest in photography started when a colleague at Paul Revere Life Insurance in Worcester started a photo club. Norm was asked by another photographer to help with a wedding assignment, and continued to photograph weddings for 40 years.

After he decided to stop doing wedding photography, Norm turned to taking pictures of nature, wildlife and community events. His web site— Norm Eggert Photography—features galleries of New England in the winter, community festivals, farms, Old Sturbridge Village, Quabbin Reservoir and much more.

Norm has also done volunteer photography for Fitchburg Art Museum and the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust. For the last 28 years he’s taken on the role of a teacher, even working for Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner as an adjunct professor, teaching portrait, digital and commercial photography.

“I would say people are the specialty,” Norm said of his work. “I do event photography for several organizations. I also really enjoy people, doing what they’re actually doing.”

To learn more about Norm Eggert’s work, visit normeggert.photoshelter.com.

Max Bowen can be reached at 413-930-4074 or at mbowen@recorder.com.