Springmoor’s Medical Director Moonlights as Award-Winning Photographer
|Dr. Edmundson poses next to one of his photographs hanging |
in a Springmoor exam room
Most people around Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community know Dr. Wells Edmundson as the community’s longtime medical director, whom they trust to care for their aches and pains. But, outside the community and the medical field, Edmundson is known for something else: nature photography.
“Being a doctor feeds your family, and being a photographer feeds your soul, but I get a lot of satisfaction out of both,” Edmundson says. “If a picture falls off a wall and breaks—nobody cares about that; if you get it wrong with a patient, that’s a whole different story.”
Springmoor recently purchased 33 of Edmundson’s photographs—mostly colorful images of flowers and North Carolina scenery—that are being installed near the community auditorium and offices of the Raleigh senior living community. His work is also displayed at Raleigh Orthopedic Surgery Center, Cameron Village Shopping Center and Woodalland McNeill (Raleigh dentists). He donates photos to the SPCA of Wake County to sponsor its annual Fur Ball, and to the Rex Hospital Charity Foundation for its silent auction; he is also a member of the Western Wake County Studio Art TourGroup.
Many of his photographs hang in his exam rooms, serving as a springboard for conversation.
“It helps people to connect with their past, and reflect on what their gardens might have looked like—it’s a bridge to the past,” he said. “A woman purchased a picture of a butterfly garden because it reminded her of other parts of her life that meant something to her.”
Edmundson has been playing with a camera since he was 20 years old, starting out by taking pictures at sporting events. About 15 years into it, and after he bought a house that had been owned by North Carolina State University’s head of landscaping, Edmundson took an interest in photographing flowers—and planting them. He’s since tripled what was originally planted in his yard.
“I like photographing bearded irises—they are so intricate and so beautiful; they’re my favorite flower,” he said. “After that, I really like pictures of snow on trees—it’s such a peaceful thing.”
Edmundson said the secret to taking great photographs is to always have a camera on hand, and to take many pictures when you find the right subject. He said cameras don’t have to be expensive, and that you can get a 16-megapixel camera for about $150, and still take a great shot of an osprey sitting in her nest from several feet away.
His day job keeps him busy, so Edmundson grabs his shots as he sees them, sometimes taking trips to the coast, or other scenic areas to stock up.
He won a prize in the NorthCarolina State Fair for a photograph of a maritime oak in the snow—it was a color photo that appeared to be black-and-white. Another year, he submitted a picture taken of a funnel cake booth at Midway, and the prize for that was that the owner of the stand—who had operated the business for 35 years—saw the picture and wanted to buy it.
“That’s the sort of thing that floats your boat,” he said. “It’s gratifying, beautiful stuff.”