Carolyn Odell: Portrait of a Hudson Valley Photographer

If you live in the Hudson Valley and are active on social media, there’s a high chance you’ve seen photos by Carolyn Odell Photography. If  you haven’t then you should follow her Facebook page and visit her on SmugMug  where you can view her entire portfolio of work as well as purchase your favorite images for your home or office.

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We talked to this well known area photographer this week and learned she is up and out and making photographs daily. She says it feels like forever, but in realty she has been making photographs steady and daily for five years. Photography has changed her everyday existence. Once she started to notice the details, she saw how much beauty is around her everyday in the most ordinary or unexpected places. That’s when she started to derive happiness from seeing and being able to capture amazing light and color.

Carolyn Odell Photography RR Bridge


“Inspiration and creativity are all around us. Sometimes we inspire, sometimes we see inspiration in others.” She pays homage to Fred Schaffer, who saw a debilitated old railroad bridge and had vision for the  Walkway Over the Hudson. “I think his determination and not giving up attitude most influenced me to keep going forward.”

BlurredLines-1 Carolyn Odell Photography

Carolyn’s favorite subjects are Hudson Valley sunrises, sunsets, ice waterfalls and nature. She is also excited about her new abstract “blurred” series inspired by a Georgia O’Keeffe painting called “Reflection Seascape” of Lake George. “It had a dreamy quality to it. It was sparse on detail yet very serene. I am trying to create an impression. It is as if you were to look at a scene and then look away quickly without being able to focus. You would not be able to take in the details of the scene but left the color and light. An essence of a landscape; soft, dreamy feeling.”

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 Favorite Places to Photograph

Anywhere along the river. I have shot from above Hudson down to Ossining. The creeks at Vanderbilt and James Baird State Park for ice pictures. There is so much to photograph here in the Hudson Valley, every day is a new day. Sometimes I just stumble upon a scene that catches my eye and I just go with it. I go out having a plan on what I will photograph and something else entirely will resent itself. Art leads, I follow.

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The Three Things We Should Know

I want my work to reflect the peace and tranquility that I often obtain from these scenes I capture. I would like when my work is being viewed it strikes some kind of emotion in the viewer. A state of pleasure and or a state of serenity. Creativity is boundless. Each one of my photographs come from an ordinary moment captured. Sparked by imagination. I hope that people will be inspired to get out in nature and seek out their own surroundings.

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Solo shows include:  “A Moment in Time” all abstract ice at Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center in Poughkeepsie.  Mixture landscapes with ice at The Arts Upstairs in Phoenicia. Carolyn Odell has also been in multiple group shows and is currently working towards having another solo show.

The Future

I would like to continue to improve my skills. To continue shooting every day. I feel that I am no longer just taking photos. I give it thought, try different things and try to create something that comes from inside me. My main goal is to let it come to me naturally and not try to force the creativity.

Photograher Carolyn Odell

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Melissa Tyler

Melissa Tyler

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