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STOKES COUNTY, N.C. — Dan Whittaker spends a lot of time outdoors with his camera in hand.

“I decided to start taking images as really a necessity for the parts of nature that I was witnessing that I wanted to share with people,” Whittaker said. “I wanted to have proof that I was there, things like storms, waterfalls, lakes and rivers and these were places that I was finding myself.”

In this year of the pandemic, he and many others have discovered that being out in nature is one of the best and safest places to be.

“I think we’ve all found a greater appreciation for the outdoors this year,” he said.

To help carry that appreciation over into 2021 he created a calendar. Each month features one of his images that encompass the best parts of North Carolina.

“One that sticks out in my head is a storm that happened near Charlotte,” he said. “It produced massive amounts of lightning and I sat there in my vehicle watching the lightning happen in the distance over this field that was flooded with stormwater and I caught a whole series of strikes.”

Whittaker hopes these images, and all the ones he takes, will inspire others to explore the world around them.

“Just go out and do it,” Whittaker said. “Go somewhere new, try something different and chances are the inspiration will find itself.”

You can find his calendars at The Arts Place of Stokes in Danbury. You can check out more of his work on his website

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