Michigan photographer Diane Zoellmer says that one of the biggest attractions to photography for her is the ability to capture the moment. Living along the lake shore provides a lot of opportunities for that—“and with mother nature changing the view from one second to the next, timing is critical.” Most of the photos she’s made, Zoellmer observes, would not have been possible if she hadn’t taken them when she did. “Combining variables over which I have no control such as the wind, water, light, and temperature with variables that I can control such as my camera angle, view, zoom, perspective, and lens, I am able to capture a unique moment that might only be available for a short time and share it with others.” Zoellmer adds that another opportunity presented by photography is the ability to capture the individual elements of a scene. “Many times we overlook these details because they are too small to be seen by the naked eye or we are so overwhelmed by the big picture. The latter is especially true when we’re taking in the view on the shores of Lake Michigan.” The impulse for a photographer is to shoot the spectacular; we forget to look down, she says. Often, Zoellmer notes, the small pieces are just as magnificent as the big.

Diane Zoellmer photo Diane Zoellmer photo

The earliest memory Diane Zoellmer has of making photos is one from a family vacation on the ocean when she was twelve but she says she’s always had a fascination with photography. Initially she studied ceramics in college; eventually, she earned a teacher’s certificate and a master’s degree in technology. While working in the technology field she continued to maintain an interest in photography, transitioning from traditional film to digital. Since retiring from a career as an educational technology coordinator, she’s been able to spend more time developing her skills in, and passion for, photography.


“Elements of Change” runs January 22-March 18, 2018 at the
University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 N. Dixboro Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Admission if free
Hours: Daily 10 am-4:30 pm; Wednesdays until 8 pm