Advice Independent Living

Life Through a Lens: The Artful Journey of Photographer Peter Clough

Meadow Ridge Resident Peter Clough

In His Father’s Footsteps

Meadow Ridge resident Peter Clough was practically born with a camera in his hand. His father was an avid photographer and “as a little kid I took it for granted that one photographed the important things in one’s life.” These were the days long before ubiquitous camera phones.  It was a time when good photography was the result of an artful eye, practice and patience.

“I started petitioning for a camera at age four and got one for my sixth birthday,” Peter recalls. He ran to the park and took photos of a park bench, the home base for kick-the-can games and bushes and statues that he and his friends hid behind. “The pictures were awful, unimportant to anyone but me and out of focus. My father didn’t tell me they were horrible but he gave me some guidance, helped and encouraged me.” Peter has been an active amateur photographer ever since, though his work is easily mistaken for that of a professional.

A Photographic Odyssey Across 55 Countries

Peter is passionate about travel photography and the majority of his work is from his trips abroad. He’s visited 55 countries, with multiple trips to Italy. “My mother was Italian and she used to tell me my photographs were Italy captured in a few hundred pictures. If they had not been flattering she would have let me know!”

Last fall, a collection of portraits from his 2013 trip to Cambodia and Vietnam were shown at Meadow Ridge, the continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Redding, Connecticut, where Peter and his wife now live. The pictures are clear and vibrant, capturing people in their element with natural expressions of curiosity and joy. “I use a zoom lens so I don’t have to be right in their face. With children, I can play games with them. A couple of pictures on that trip I was actually playing hide and go seek with the kids.  They’d pop out and I’d manage to catch them with their facial expressions. If you take enough pictures with kids they get bored of being shy and you get a more natural photograph.”

He calls the work from that trip some of the most important he’s ever done, having been welcomed into small villages to capture daily life. “One of the women [in the marketplace], she was clearly the head woman of that village and she told everyone to open up, be themselves, let these folks take pictures.”

Sharing His Love of Sicily with Meadow Ridge

Peter recently gave a lecture at Meadow Ridge on his photography in Sicily. As part of the community’s commitment to celebrating its artist residents, Meadow Ridge regularly showcases their works and hosts monthly art shows, providing a vibrant platform for residents like Peter to share their passion and discuss the stories behind their art. At Meadow Ridge, creative activities play a central role in promoting the overall well-being and wellness of residents.

If Peter ever takes your picture, it will likely be on a Nikon, the brand he’s used faithfully ever since he was a teenager. When it comes to the bells and whistles of digital photography, “To me what is important is the essence of the picture, not the wizardry that can come later.” Which makes his images all the more impressive—captured with an artful eye, practice and patience.

Independent Living
Senior Living Lifestyle, Resident Stories
Find you next passion.