Around 1/3 of Bloomington is made up of parks and nature areas, making it a popular shooting location for local photographers. We reached out to some of our favorite nature photographers to get their viewpoint on everything from the state of amateur photography to Bloomington’s hidden gems.
Photographer Bob Rorke has worked near Bloomington’s Normandale Lake for the last 16 years and lives in nearby Edina. Bob’s beautiful nature photos can often be seen on Instagram, where he shares photos of Normandale Lake, Bush Lake Ski Jump, Bush Lake Beach, and Richardson Nature Center.
Bob is an amateur photographer who first began taking photos about 6 years ago when a friend had terminal cancer. “He loved birds and other nature scenes. I would post a photo of a woodpecker, kestrel, sunset, or other pretty photo to greet him via Facebook. Other people could see the photo, but he knew it was for him. It was a simple way to add a smile to his day. I realized by focusing (literally and figuratively) on something positive, it was affecting my day too,” said Bob.
One of the main reasons Bob loves photography is because of how much fun he has doing it. He suggests budding photographers always be willing to make mistakes and learn from others on Instagram and on websites like Facebook. “I marvel at the photographs that are posted on the Bloomington Community Facebook (page). I especially love the high school sports photos. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the community,” said Bob.
Bob has several favorite locations in Bloomington to shoot, saying, “I try to photograph the reflection from the Normandale Lake boat ramp when the water is calm. I love the birdwatching room upstairs at the Richardson Nature Center. I especially enjoy the challenge of photographing the dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies at Richardson Nature Center. And Bush Lake Beach often has beautiful sunsets.”
Like most Minnesotans, Bob also has a love for the North Shore. His favorite place in the state is Grand Marais, and enjoys seeing photos of Lake Superior’s wildlife, storms, waterfalls, and Split Rock Lighthouse.
A final word of advice to photography lovers? “Don’t ever say to a photographer that their camera takes great photos. It’s like telling a musician that the instrument makes great music.”
Bob’s photography can be found on his Instagram account, @bob_rorke. Thank you, Bob, for sharing some of your stories and wonderful photographs with us! Share your Bloomington photos on social media with #BloomingtonMN and follow us on Instagram at @BloomingtonMN.