Orange County Government, Florida
Lindy Shepherd, Arts & Cultural Affairs
(407) 836-0913 or Lindy.Shepherd@ocfl.net
01 November 2016
Wildlife Photography by Honored SCUBA Diver Ruth Petzold Featured in November in Orange County Government Administration Center

WHAT: Sea Creatures: Above & Below: The Photography of Ruth Petzold

WHEN: November 1 through 30, 2016

WHERE: Community Gallery
     Orange County Government Administration Center
     201 S. Rosalind Ave.
     Orlando, FL 32801

WHO: Inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in April 2016, Ruth Petzold’s photography reflects her lifelong devotion to the exploration and conservation of wildlife, above and below the water.

A lifelong passion for nature and photography became the life’s work for photographer and SCUBA diver Ruth Petzold. Since getting her first camera at age seven, she has devoted herself to exploration, conservation and photographing nature and wildlife, above and below the water.

From wildlife in Africa, Antarctica and the Arctic, to the undersea world of Pacific Rim countries and the Caribbean, Petzold has pursued the beauties of nature on all seven continents and in most of the global seas and oceans. Her passionate love of the natural world has taken her to exotic and remote parts of the world in pursuit of her subjects. She’s been 11 times to the African continent, 10 times to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and six times to Indonesia, just to mention a few of her photographic excursions.

“Nature photography has made me aware of the fragility of our planet,” says Petzold. “I have discovered the true beauty and variety of our earth’s creatures. It is my hope that viewers of my photographs will join me in helping to preserve and protect our environment.”

Her exhibition Sea Creatures: Above & Below features photographs from her explorations and includes polar bears, penguins, rare leafy sea dragons, dolphins, whales, sharks and manatees. An informational panel and map accompany each sea creature so that children and adults can learn more about the animals and their habitats.

“Beginning in the 1980s, I traveled widely. The more I saw, the more I realized there was more to see,” says Petzold. “Then, unfortunately, my left leg was amputated below the knee, but my love of the water prevailed, and I made sure I had a diving leg within a few months.” Petzold continues, “I have gone everywhere I wanted to go in spite of losing my leg. A floating prosthetic leg simply added to the challenges of underwater photography.”

In April 2016, Ruth was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame, which honors pioneers, leaders, innovators and world-record holders throughout the international diving community. She also is a longtime member of The Explorers Club and serves on the board of The Wild Dolphin Project, a nonprofit scientific research organization that studies and reports on a specific pod of free-ranging Atlantic spotted dolphins. A portion of sales of Petzold’s photographs will be donated to support The Wild Dolphin Project. When she’s not traveling, Petzold resides in North Palm Beach, Florida and Harbor Springs, Michigan.

The Sea Creatures: Above & Below exhibition is hosted by Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs. The exhibition can be seen November 1 to 30, 2016, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Community Gallery in the atrium lobby of the Orange County Government Administration Center, 201 S. Rosalind Ave., Orlando, FL, 32801.

For information about the artist, visit RuthPetzold.com, or contact Katie Deits, kdeits@me.com, 561-351-7904.

RuthPetzold_2016: Ruth Petzold wears the gold necklace awarded from the
Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2016. Photograph by Katie Deits

RuthPetzold_cameras_Indonesia: Ruth Petzold diving in Indonesia with her Nikon camera and
bilateral flashes. Photograph by Tanya Burnett

RuthPetzold_Dolphins_Bahamas: A family of wild dolphins in the Bahamas is under study by
The Wild Dolphin Project. Photograph by Ruth Petzold

RuthPetzold_LeafySeaDragon_Australia: A leafy sea dragon in Australia
naturally hides in the seaweed. Photograph by Ruth Petzold

RuthPetzold_PolarBear_Norway: A polar bear leaps onto ice flows in Norway.
Photograph by Ruth Petzold

RuthPetzold_GreatWhiteShark_Australia: A great white shark cruises by the photographer in Australia.
Photograph by Ruth Petzold

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About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world famous theme parks, the nation’s second largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information please visit www.OCFL.net or go to the Orange County Facebook and Twitter pages.