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Outdoor photographer's exhibit focuses on nature, architecture

Outdoor photographer’s exhibit focuses on nature, architecture

Conyers resident Rita Frix will have a photography exhibit at St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church, 737 Moon Road in Lawrenceville. To view samples of her talents, visit the East Metro page in today’s Citizen. (Special Photo: Joyce Glover)

Conyers resident Rita Frix will have a photography exhibit at St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church, 737 Moon Road in Lawrenceville. To view samples of her talents, visit the East Metro page in today’s Citizen. (Special Photo: Joyce Glover)

Conyers resident Rita Frix developed a passion for photography as a teenager growing up in Lithonia, but it’s taken her over three decades to finally amass a body of work that she felt warranted an exhibit.

Opening on April 7, Frix’s exhibit features 21 images shot in locations including Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, Oak Allee Plantation at Wormsloe Historic Site in Savannah, and Bar Harbor, Maine. She specializes in outdoor photography, capturing both nature images and architectural shots. Daffodils, waterlilies, fall leaves, boats, houses, churches and 600-foot sand dunes are all subject matter that appears in her exhibit.

She’s particularly interested in macro-photography, which allows her to highlight “details that people don’t pay attention to,” she said.

“I just love the different colors, the textures, trying to look for something that maybe nobody else noticed,” she said.

Frix said photography is all about light, and a good example of that is her trip to the Great Sand Dunes, where she’d wait in the same location for an hour watching as the dunes changed in texture, shade and shape.

“They look different from minute to minute,” said Frix.

Frix said as a teen she either had a book or a camera in her hand, and was a devoted reader of National Geographic magazine.

“I always said if I had a second life, I’d like to be a National Geographic photographer,” she said.

Frix’s exhibit hangs at St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church, 737 Moon Road in Lawrenceville, through July 4 and is accessible Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday 8 a.m. to noon.

Frix said the exhibit is part fundraiser for the church, which keeps some of the proceeds from sales of her photographs.

Weekends and vacations find Frix traveling to different locations across the U.S. to take pictures. She’s been to Long Boat Key, Fla., Blue Ridge Parkway, the Grand Canyon, the Southwest and up and down the East Coast. Two of her favorite places to shoot are right here in Georgia — Sapelo and Cumberland islands. She also makes seasonal treks to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Gibbs Garden in north Georgia, and Perry’s Water Garden in North Carolina.

“I’m constantly looking for new places and I watch the calendar and see what’s going on as far as what’s peaking,” she said.

Frix is a self-taught photographer but has traveled on field trip workshops with Georgia-based nature photographer and environmental advocate Larry Winslett. She’s also a member of the Southeastern Photographic Society, the Georgia Nature Photographer’s Association, the Southern Heartland Arts Guild and the Sharpshooters Photography group.

“You learn just from being around other photographers,” said Frix, who shoots with a Nikon D7000.

When Frix isn’t off pursuing her photography hobby, she works as a data specialist for the Rockdale County School System, a position she’s held for 19 years. Crunching numbers so that educators can analyze trends and keep track of data isn’t that much different from having to adjust shutter speed and aperture.

“(People say), ‘How in the world did you get into this area? You’re a creative person.’ But if you think about computer programming, you’re given a problem and you have to devise a solution and a data base is comprised of multiple tables and it’s like a big puzzle. It requires a certain amount of creativity to think outside the box, so we’re not doing the same thing every single day,” she said.

A resident of Conyers since 1979, Frix and her husband, Mike Frix, have two grown daughters, Amber Frix and April Summerville, married to Philip Summerville, and one grandchild, Lily Summerville. She’s a lifelong member of Turner Hill Baptist Church in Lithonia.

Frix said God is never far from her mind when she’s looking through the lens.

“As a Christian, you just look at everything that God provides and you wander through some days and you think about creation and how much went into that, how He could have thought of every little detail,” said Frix. “It’s fascinating how things are so planned and nature changes and you’re constantly looking for those special things.”