[caption id="attachment_84713" align="aligncenter" width="600"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2022\/01\/DSC4694-Doug-C-with-3-s.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="526" class="size-full wp-image-84713" \/> panoramic photography haS been Doug Chadwick's specialty for more than 40 years. Chadwick is also an expert at capturing images of Pocahontas County's natural settings and admits he's especially fond of photographing the many creeks and rivers that are found here. Photo courtesy of Gina Schrad[\/caption]\r\n\r\nLaura Dean Bennett\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\u00a0\r\nThe number of talented artists we have here abouts is amazing.\r\n\r\nSometimes, it seems we may have more than our share \u2013 they are tucked into every crevice of the county.\r\n\r\nCustomers at the Levels Caf\u00e9, in Hillsboro, while enjoying Delsie\u2019s good food, can also enjoy exquisite photographs by photographer Doug Chadwick. \r\n\r\nThere are currently seven of Chadwick\u2019s photographs on display. By their titles \u2013 Williams River Bank, Greenbrier River, McMillion Place Jacox, Hills Creek, Beaver Pond on Kennison Mountain \u2013\u00a0and their very nature, they are recognizable as having been captured locally. \r\n\u00a0\r\nLike a lot of our friends and neighbors, Chadwick wasn\u2019t born here, but he considers Pocahontas County his home.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019s lived in West Virginia since 1970 \u2013 first working for a newspaper in Oak Hill, then a stint with the Beckley newspaper, before coming to live in Pocahontas County. He settled in Buckeye, then moved to his home in Hillsboro where he\u2019s been for the last 30 years.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019ve never seriously considered living anywhere else,\u201d Chadwick said. \r\n\r\nHe was born in North Carolina, grew up in Upper Marlboro, in Prince Georges County, Maryland and studied photography in college \u2013 at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. \r\n\r\nChadwick\u2019s photography has appeared in many magazines in the U.S. and in England.\r\n\r\nReaders of Goldenseal will undoubtedly be familiar with his work, as he has appeared in that venerable publication many times.\r\n\r\nPocahontas County called and Chadwick answered when he came here to be an \u201cartist in residence.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cSusan Burt and the local Arts Council came up with the idea of having this position and I replied to their ad.\r\n\r\n\u201cAfter I was hired, they told me the other applicant for the position didn\u2019t make it, partly because of admitting\u00a0to finding the roads here to be difficult, and I said, \u2018that\u2019s one of the things I really like about the area. I love the winding roads.\u2019\u201d\r\n\r\nWhen Chadwick moved here, he not only loved the roads, but he loved us, too.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe best things about living in Pocahontas County are its natural beauty and the people who live here.\r\n\r\n\u201cEveryone is so friendly and welcoming,\u201d Chadwick said.\r\n\r\nFor instance, Chadwick and Ruth Taylor became friends right away, and the relationship continues to this day.\r\n\r\n\u201cRuth set up a darkroom in the basement of her store, and I taught adult photography classes there in the evenings,\u201d he said. \r\n\r\nChadwick is well-known as a panoramic photography specialist. His interest in that particular format originally came about as a result of his interest in old black and white photos of coal miners. \r\n\r\nChadwick and a friend found some old film negatives of coal miners in southern West Virginia \u2013 panoramas taken from the late teens to the 1950s by Rufus E. \u201cRed\u201d Ribble.\r\n\r\nThey were captivated by the unusually detailed and graphic images. \u00a0\r\n\r\nRibble shot these panoramas with an old rotating camera, a \u201cCirkut\u201d Panoramic camera made by Eastman Kodak from about 1903 to the late 1930s.\r\n\r\nRibble\u2019s rotating camera produced eight-inch by four-foot negatives, which eliminated the need for the negatives to be enlarged.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe made panoramic prints, and found there was an eager market for them,\u201d Chadwick said.\r\n\r\nChadwick soon moved on from making panoramic prints to shooting with a Cirkut Panoramic camera of his own \u2013 and for the past 40 years, it\u2019s been his specialty.\r\n\u201cI\u2019m recognized for my panoramic work \u2013 it\u2019s kind of my niche,\u201d he admitted.\r\n\r\nChadwick\u2019s camera, a Cirkut Panoramic built in 1921, produces a 10-inch by five-foot negative.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_84712" align="aligncenter" width="600"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2022\/01\/DSC4628-Cafe-left-wall-s.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="397" class="size-full wp-image-84712" \/> Doug Chadwick's stunning photographs hang on the wall at the Level\u2019s Caf\u00e9 in Hillsboro. They enhance the dining experience for patrons and can grace your home, as the photographs are for sale. Chadwick said \u201cthere are good photographs everywhere you turn in Pocahontas County.\u201d Photo courtesy of Gina Schrader[\/caption]\r\n\r\nThe size of these negatives makes it difficult to find paper to print the photos. \r\n\r\n\u201cI have a freezer full of film, but the paper is hard to find,\u201d Chadwick noted.\r\n\r\nHe uses the panoramic camera to photograph family reunions, weddings and all sorts of large gatherings, but finds that car collector groups are especially interested in panoramic photos. \r\n\r\nHis panoramic photography caught the attention of many large groups.\r\n\r\nHis commission work keeps him on the road a good bit. \r\n\r\n\u201cI travel about ninety percent of the time, and most of the time I\u2019m driving,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt may be hard to get in and out of here because we\u2019re a little remote, but at least I\u2019m not fighting traffic, not like some of the places I travel to where the traffic is non-stop.\u201d\r\n\r\nHis panoramic work has also taken him inside many state capitols.\r\n\r\n\u201cI call them political portraits,\u201d Chadwick said. \r\n\r\n\u201cI photograph state legislators in their chambers and have done panoramic photography in about a dozen legislatures.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen I was first starting, I guess I must have thought about the way the legislative chambers are shaped and thought you could set up a camera and take a panoramic in that room from the speaker\u2019s podium,\u201d Chadwick remembered.\r\n\r\n\u201cA room that has desks in semi circles lends itself to an interesting perspective.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe panoramic camera straightens the semi circles into straight lines, therefore, you can recognize everyone at their desks,\u201d he explained.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s been really interesting to see the state capitols. I\u2019ve worked in so many capitols \u2013 from Boston to California, and from Florida to Texas.\r\n\r\n\u201cMy first commission at a state capitol was in Charleston when I went to the West Virginia State Capitol to do a panoramic portrait for the state legislature in 1983 or \u201985,\u201d Chadwick recalled.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019s had photos in the Huntington Galleries, the West Virginia Juried Exhibit, the Gallery at Sunrise and the Cultural Center in Charleston. \r\n\r\nHe had a one-man show in the Henri Gallery, just off Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. and has shown in Lewisburg at the Washington Street Gallery.\r\n\r\nIn addition to photography, Chadwick also has an impressive body of work in film and video documentaries.\r\n\r\nIn 1979, he and Susan Burt co-produced the documentary, True Facts in a Country Song, the life of West Virginia musician Everett Lilly, which aired on West Virginia Public Television.\r\n\r\nNot all of his panoramic photos have legislators or scenery as their subjects. Some lionize car collectors and their vehicles.\r\n\r\n\u201cSome of the most fun jobs are the car collectors and their cars,\u201d he said. \r\n\r\nComing up, Chadwick and his Cirkut camera will be travelling to North Carolina.\r\n\r\n\u201cI was supposed to be doing the North Carolina legislature next week, but because of the COVID surge, they may have to reschedule,\u201d Chadwick said.\r\n\r\n\u201cAs soon as they pick a date, I\u2019ll drive down to Raleigh.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen I do these commissions, I always stay as close to the capitol as possible. \u00a0\r\n\r\n\u201cI tend to be a little nervous the day before, and I like to get to the capital at least a day or so early.\u201d\r\n\r\nBut there are a few perks to savor after all these years of travelling. Chadwick has a friendly port in most cities he visits.\r\n\r\n\u201cI have friends in most states now,\u201d he said, smiling.\r\n\r\n\u201cI hope to visit with my friends in the North Carolina Symphony while I\u2019m in Raleigh. \r\n\r\n\u201cWe met when they used to play in the West Virginia Symphony.\u201d \r\n\r\n\r\nWhen the Levels Caf\u00e9 opened, Chadwick\u2019s assistant, Gina Schrader, suggested he hang a few photographs there.\r\n\r\nThe pictures make for an attractive backdrop in the charming caf\u00e9, and they are for sale.\r\n\r\nThey reflect Chadwick\u2019s conviction that, in Pocahontas County, there\u2019s almost no bad place for a great picture.\r\n\r\n\u201cGosh, good photographs are just everywhere you turn in Pocahontas County,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou can probably tell by my photographs that some of my favorite natural setting subjects are creeks and rivers.\u201d\r\n\r\nFrom the home Chadwick built along the Greenbrier River in Hillsboro, he has an inspirational four-season perspective.\r\n\r\n\u201cI can see the mountain top where Beartown is, and I can see the Greenbrier River from my house. \r\n\r\n\u201cI can even photograph bears right in my own yard,\u201d he laughed.