Rosamond at her studio in Norwich

Rosamond Orford, a Brit by birth, has been living in Norwich for quite some time. First, living down by where the Ompompanoosuc runs into the Connecticut River, and then moving to a quaint farmhouse on Union Village Road. At her farmhouse, Rosamond has a lovely studio where she has many of her framed photographs on display. People occasionally come by to browse and buy a print.

Rosamond grew up in the southern part of England. “I started taking photographs at the age of 11 when my parents gave me a Kodak Bellows camera,” she said. “I floundered a little in finding a suitable post-secondary path.” But luck prevailed, and she had the opportunity to travel to the United States with a friend. She went to Wyoming and then to Aspen, Colorado, where her interest in photography took off.

Camel Fair, Pushkar, India
Sunrays, Norwich, VT
Water Swirls, Ompompanoosuc River, VT
Evensong, Connecticut River, VT
Harbourside, Cinque Terre, Italy

“I became a more serious photographer after taking a course with David and Cheri Hiser in Aspen, which opened my eyes to the fact that abstract ideas and emotions could be communicated by a photograph,” Rosamond said. “There is an old Eastern saying: ‘When the pupil is ready, the teacher will come’.” Rosamond decided to stay in the United States. She got married and moved to the Upper Valley where her husband got a job as an English teacher at Hanover High School. Rosamond loves the Upper Valley, but she would have liked to have spent more time in the West where she enjoyed the vast landscapes.

Rosamond has a particular love of taking pictures of water and capturing the variety of patterns the light makes on the water. She has had the good fortune to travel – Cuba, India, Morocco, Kenya, Nepal are some of the places she’s visited over the years. She has wonderful photos of these places in her studio.

Rosamond started a publishing company called Upcountry Publishing. She published calendars and then postcards and note cards. Then she published her first book: Water Colours – Photographs by Rosamond Orford. It is a collection of her photographs (you can buy the book directly from her or online).

Rosamond made the transition from dark rooms to digital fairly painlessly. She is somewhat of a purist. She doesn’t like to use filters and enhancers to digitally modify photographs. For her, “the seeing is the important piece,” she said. “Creativity is in the perception.” Along her creative journey, Rosamond started to paint in watercolor. Some of her water colors adorn her living room.

Rosamond’s family owns a house in the Lake District in North West England, so it is easy for her to return to her homeland when she wants to. It is a mountainous region with many lakes and beautiful vistas – an ideal place for a photographer that loves water and landscapes.    

In addition to being an artist, Rosamond also has a history of being a community activist. She and some community members were strongly opposed to a water development on the Ompompanoosuc River that would have reduced the flow in the river and diminish the beauty of its several waterfalls. The group fought hard, involving legislators, and finally won a settlement that allows the river to flow naturally. Her commitment “to fight for the river” illustrates how Rosamond loves the flow of the river with its patterns and reflections.

Rosamond’s character has not been affected at all by her success. She is someone you would meet in the pub or on a ramble. She is down to earth and quintessentially British. Sadly, some of her work was destroyed in a house fire several years ago. But her living room and studio are adorned with beautiful framed photographic prints and watercolors. Occasionally, someone will show up to look at the artwork and maybe buy a piece. 

Rosamond Orford

At 84, Rosamond is slowing down a bit. Unfortunately, she inherited her father’s arthritis. But her passion for seeing beautiful scenes and capturing them is still strong. The essence of her work is “seeing” and then capturing it on film or in a painting. She doesn’t need all the “bells and whistles” of modern photography. Rosamond has a message for all of us: we need to open our eyes to the beauty around us. It can become a way of life.

Rosamond is very proud of her work. I think if you call ahead, she would be very happy to invite you into her studio.

All the photographs shown in this article are copyrighted by Rosamond Orford and may not be used without permission.

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