Cause for soldiers
Photographers join forces for SUDS
By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
Nate Dean, 31, of Manchester, became involved in Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) last year after helping a diving industry colleague, John Chatterton of Maine, at a trade show booth for the program.
Now Nate is the SUDS administrative director and he’s finishing a DiveMaster certification with hopes to teach for SUDS in the future.
About 140 soldiers have gone through the program, which is based at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Discussions between Nate and his father, Dennis Dean, are behind the current photography exhibit at Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn. Sales benefit both SUDS and Audubon.
It includes SUDS diving trip images by professional photographer Kevin Morris of Brunswick, Maine (www.kevinmorris.com), along with photos of nature and surroundings from Dennis, and “macro” or close-up floral photos by Laurie Daily.
Neither Dean has military ties, but Dennis said he thought it was a great idea to “help returning soldiers with disabilities experience something that they most likely would never have done on their own.”
Dennis has been taking photos since he was a kid — “It’s my passion,” he said. He called his style “kind of eclectic.” He likes to tell a story with his pictures. The 13 in this exhibit are connected with a treasure map he created about 20 years ago.
Daily said she takes photos in her back yard (which for her is about 12 acres with a pond) as a way to relax after teaching third- graders. She picked it up as a hobby a couple of years ago, and said her “bug’s-eye view” of flowers, insects, birds and other details has changed how she sees her land — “how the light is playing off a particular petal or leaf” might catch her eye, Daily said.
“I just get as close as I can to something and try to take a different look at it,” Daily said.
“Her stuff is actually phenomenal,” Dennis said. “She has a very unique talent for capturing light and colors,” Dennis said. They both live in Derry, and Dennis works with her husband.
This is Daily’s first time exhibiting, although she won a grand prize of her own Web site (www.lauriedailyphotography.com) through www.betterphoto.com.
Daily learned about SUDS through this project, and hopes the Massabessic show helps build awareness, she said. She called the program an opportunity for “soldiers that give up so much for the country” and come back with challenges they didn’t have when they left.
As a teacher, she’s had students with a variety of challenges and knows “it’s so nice when you can take the challenge away,” through creating a more level playing field or a way to work around it.
The exhibit continues through April 24 at Massabesic Audubon Center, 26 Audubon Way, Auburn, 668-2045, www.newhampshireaudubon.org.
Meet the photographers, Nate and other SUDS staffers at an open house Saturday, April 4, between 2:30 and 5 p.m.
Dennis works under the name Atsah Images. Atsah is Navajo for eagle, he wrote. Reach him at Atsah@comcast.net.