Debbie Osiecki: Quaama photographer extraordinaire

My Triangle 2018.06

Debbie Osiecki and her partner Sharon Bowen-Smith moved to Quaama from the Monaro nine years ago. Debbie remembers their list of requirements: a few acres, good neighbours, a friendly community and a local shop. They focused on the area between Narooma and Brogo, and fell in love with Quaama.

Debbie really enjoyed her work as a nurse caring for patients with brain injuries. Then she was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disease some years ago. She sings the praises of her neighbours, who have become friends and provide the care and support of a family.

Debbie and Sharon also appreciate the caring teams at Tulgeen and Grand Pacific Health and Debbie ‘feels especially confident in the safe hands of Dr Gundi at Bermagui Medical Centre’. She says, ‘The palliative care team have been amazingly kind and professional’. For others who may be struggling with pain and illness she suggests working on building acceptance, rather than becoming overwhelmed by bitterness, blame and regret.

Debbie admits that life can be very unfair, but believes that ‘living moment by moment and not allowing anxieties and fear to take over’ is a critical step. She also stresses the need to be comfortable with both asking for and accepting help and services. She acknowledges that this has been a challenge for her.

Debbie developed a great eye for detail from her graphic arts classes at school. This interest grew into a passion when she had to give up work and had the time to spend watching water birds, seals and the changing colours of the sea and sky.

She was also spending a great deal of time in hospital waiting rooms and discovered YouTube and the clips that help you to hone your skills in photography. She had purchased an iPhone 6 and was surprised by the quality of the photographs she was able to take. She found that she had the patience to wait for the right colours at sunset and sunrise, or for a pelican to come in close and then take flight. She developed an affinity for pelicans and has taken wonderful shots of our local flocks. Debbie is also keen to show the world the beauty of the Bega Valley—its waterways, pristine beaches and abundant bird life.

More recently Debbie’s health has deteriorated; her eyesight and mobility have been affected. She is also living with chronic pain. She believes that photography keeps her positive, distracts her from the pain and gives her a reason to get up each day and keep on trying to live well.

Debbie believes that everyone can develop a ‘good eye’ and that expensive equipment is not required. She now uses the camera on her iPhone 7, and is impressed with its lightness, focus and ease of use. Her phone is always with her. Debbie enjoys getting into the water to take shots of pelicans, so she has waterproof covers for everything.

For more information on Debbie’s photographs go to Facebook Images Debbie Osiecki and Instagram Images

Deborah Taylor