Flowers bloom in photos at library
by Maddy Houk
Sep 26, 2007 | 449 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Blue irises, white almond blossoms and a pink orchid grace the walls of the Patterson Library this month, thanks to local educator Marianne Pack.

Pack, who has been interested in photography for 30 years, started by taking pictures of her baby daughter, Emily, and continued throughout Emily’s school years.


Over the years, she has made changes both in the types of photos she takes and in what equipment she uses. Pack prints her own photos and frames and mats most of her prints.

“What I like about digital photography is I can print them myself,” she said. “I can decide which size to print. I give pictures to friends — it’s gotten to be the gift thing.” 

These days, she focuses on landscapes and nature. Along the way, she has taken pictures of palm trees and ice formations on the trees at a colleague’s home. 

“Because I drive from Patterson to Modesto to work, there’s a lot of things to see,” she said. “I always have my camera with me.”  

The 43-year Patterson resident was a teacher in local schools for 26 of those years. These days, she is director of the California Technology Project for Region 6 at the Stanislaus County Office of Education. Region 6 consists of Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties.

CTAP helps teachers and administrators learn to integrate technology into the curriculum. And Pack helps schools write grants to put technology into the classroom. 

 “I do like what I do,” Pack said. “I miss the kids, but it’s a neat time to make the switch. I

just teach bigger kids — I teach adults. “

Besides training teachers, Pack instructs a summer class on how to select a digital camera and how to print photos.

As her job changed to include the use of technology, her hobby of photography was rekindled in digital form. Her interest in flower photos sprang from her enjoyment of gardening.

“I do very little editing of my pictures,” Pack said. “I try to let the photography stand on its own. Sometimes I see a little flaw, but I don’t fix it, because it’s the art of nature.”

She showed three of her photos at the Patterson Art and Wine Gala in 2006 and two this year.

Retired Patterson teacher Gene Field, a diehard film photographer for more than 40 years before going digital, said Pack has made a smooth transition from film.

“The medium may be different, but the results are the same,” Field said. “I was a photo teacher for several years, and I always told my students it was not the camera, the lens or the film but the eye and the brain behind the viewfinder that made the photo. Marianne’s exhibit of flower photographs is inspiring proof of that.

“She blends the techniques of excellent composition, vibrant color, simplicity and a subject that is timeless in appeal.”

To reach Maddy Houk at the Irrigator, call 892-6187 or e-mail her at


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