Stormy Weather: Photographs by Debra Frech



Photo of ocean under sky with clouds
Duck, N.C., March 2022

The first photo I took, when I was twelve years old, was of treetops. I’ve always loved nature. My subjects over time have not changed—I still take pictures of nature even when I’ve traveled overseas.

Photo of pier with covered area in wave-filled ocean
Duck, N.C., 2020

I shoot at all times of the day as you can’t really determine when something striking will appear. I love color and appreciate it for the drama it brings. In Duck, N.C., 2020, a nor’easter was approaching. Albemarle Sound doesn’t normally kick up so.

Photo of beach under dark clouds
Ocean View, Norfolk, Va., September 2020

My seascapes/storm photos were shot in Duck, N.C., Hilton Head, S.C., Ocean View, Norfolk, and Hampton Roads, Va. Winter is my favorite time of year for photographs. Everything being cooler seems to put a little more drama in the sky and sea. Ocean View, Norfolk Va., was shot during hurricane season.

Photo of beach under dark clouds
Hilton Head, S.C., November 2018

The contrast of light and dark is dramatic, accentuating the storms. I try to capture the contrast. Stormy clouds especially penetrate our consciousness; they tell us, don’t get too comfortable, your life can change in an instant. Hilton Head, S.C. is a typical cold weather look at an incredibly vast beach that seems to go on forever.

Photo of dark clouds with light sky in background
Goodland, Ksns., May 2019

I particularly admire the work of Sean Ramsey who is self-taught and chases storms as a weather, landscape and nature photographer.

Goodland, Kans. was shot during a trip from Virginia to Colorado where storms seemed to be a constant part of the open lands.

My iPhone 13 Pro makes it easy to spontaneously take pictures, hundreds of them. I’ll take the same image over and over in hopes that I’ll capture the bright, the dark, the nimble, in a kind of storytelling, however brief. I see a land or seascape where something is happening, an event without words, told with color, light, shadows, shapes, relationships of sky to sea, land to sky.

Photo of water with tree in front and background
Lake Whitehurst, Norfolk, Va., January 2018

There is a charisma in nature, a wonderment, a dignity that can overwhelm and change our lives at any moment. It can lift, destroy or by grace, shelter us from our personal chaos. The fog in Lake Whitehurst, Norfolk, Va. was shot from my backyard. I’d never seen such a fog like this before or since.

Photo of sunset behind clouds
Duck, N.C., March 2022

While such sunsets are frequent as in Duck, N.C., catching this particular light was great.

I always plan on taking more photographs of the land and sea. The challenge is to capture that moment that is just the right amount of contrast. Catching the drama is always a challenge.

Debra Frech
Debra Frech attended New York University, Tisch School of the Arts completing a BFA and MFA in dance. After sixteen years in New York, she moved to Virginia where she worked at the Governor’s School of the Arts, got married, and had two sons with continuous attendance at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk. She worked as a realtor for twelve years. A self taught, avid photographer, Frech writes poetry, children’s stories, fiction, non-fiction, and screenplays. Her chapbook, Words from Walls, includes six of her photographs. It was published by Finishing Line Press in June 2022.

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3 thoughts on “Stormy Weather: Photographs by Debra Frech”

  1. Very stirring photos. Energy surged from each one. I enjoyed interacting with them. Thanks for sharing them with us.

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