The Star-Ledger Archive
COPYRIGHT © The Star-Ledger 2005
Date: 2005/09/08 Thursday Page: N1 Section: NEWS Edition: Delaware Valley News Size: 638 words
Photo 'blog' depicts love of Durham
By Kevin J. Guhl
Durham Township is a closely-guarded secret for some of it residents, a 9-square-mile township they consider a rural piece of heaven.
But an award-winning Web site is offering viewers around the world the opportunity to get a look at Durham's splendor through a series of lush photographs.
"A Walk through Durham Township, Pennsylvania" can be found on the Internet at www.durhamtownship.com.
It was created by Kathleen Connally, who updates the site, a photoblog, several times a week with new photographs she has taken on her treks through the township and surrounding areas.
"I took pictures of everything my whole life," said Connally, 42. "I literally just have scads, boxes of photos and slides...I don't go anywhere without a camera."
Connally got her first camera, a Polaroid, at age 7 from her father. That started a lifelong love that she complemented with photography classes.
She grew up in Chadds Ford, Pa. but lived in Seattle, Wash., and in California while working for corporate America for about 15 years.
"One day, I just decided that I missed Pennsylvania and moved back," Connally said.
She started the photoblog project in January 2003, carrying a tiny Canon Powershot camera with her on daily walks through her home town of Durham.
She got more serious about her hobby in spring 2004, using a more powerful Nikon D100 digital camera and doing post-processing "darkroom" work on her computer.
Connally's photos feature people, plants, animals, architecture, landscapes and farm life. She plans to include more portraits, as well as a documentary-style gallery of farm life during the next year.
"I think this is an absolutely gorgeous area," she said. "If I can't keep it from developers at least I can capture it for people to remember it by. I want people to really cherish what they have and understand that once it's gone, it's gone."
She started the project so friends and family who live elsewhere could see where she lives but now she gets "people from every corner of the planet" looking at her site.
Her site currently gets about 2,000-3,000 views a day, which she said is a "total motivator."
Connally found herself part of a community of photobloggers she has occasionally met with at conventions in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Toronto. In fact, Connally won awards in the 2005 Photobloggies for "Best Landscape Photography of a Photoblog" and "Photo of the Year" for a picture she took of the Bethlehem Steel plant at sunset.
"People are impressed with how beautiful it is," Connally said of the reaction the site's visitors have upon seeing Durham Township.
Other photographers have asked to go along with her on shoots but she usually declines because there are "unique, special places" in the township she has worked hard to find and she wants to keep those a mystery.
Connally is humble about her abilities, though, and there's a message on her site that reads, "The images I post on this site are merely my attempts at becoming a better photographer. Some images work, some don't - you're witnessing a daily work in progress!"
Connally is married to Craig Danuloff and they have a 4-year old son, Isaac.
She volunteers as director of Durham's historical society, as secretary of the township's Environmental Advisory Council, and as a Penn State master gardener on the university's horticultural hot line.
Connally has already had some of her photographs licensed for book covers and hopes to get into stock photography as a way to earn some money from her hobby.
As for the photo blog, she plans to continue it and start posting some images from her trips to other parts of Pennsylvania.
AWARD-WINNING WEB SITE features regularly updated scenic photos of Durham Township, Pa. "A Walk through Durham Township, Pennsylvania," which can be found at www.durhamtownship.com, was created by township resident Kathleen Connally.