Photos from Africa, North America on display at Lincoln Public Library

Margaret Smith

Going from Zambia to Zimbabwe?

On the Lower Zambezi River, you can get there.

Photographer Joe Schatz saw for himself while on safari, as a herd of elephants crossed the waters and the borders of nations.

“We were on the river. The elephants decided they wanted to be in Zimbabwe,” he said wryly. “It was a sight to behold.”

Whether in Africa or the Canadian Rockies, or the national parks of the United States, Schatz, an Acton resident, loves to photograph majestic moments in time.

He said, “First of all, like to go out into the wild, and second of all I like to capture images that make people want to be there.”

But area residents won’t have to travel quite so far to see these scenes of natural beauty.

Schatz will hold an exhibit of photos from his travels through May at the Lincoln Public Library.

The exhibit includes a first for the seasoned landscape photographer – photos of animals.

Schatz and his wife, Mary, traveled to Zambia to visit their son and daughter in-law when their daughter in-law was assigned for two years to work in the field of public health.

“It turned out, we didn’t see as many lions … and leopards and things like that,” Schatz said. “We saw elephants, giraffes, and hippos, and birds.”

The great cats, while rarely seen, made their presence felt.

Schatz recalled waking one morning in a bush camp and stepping outside his tent, where he saw a single paw print on the dusty ground.

The guide saw it and said a lion had come to visit while they all slept.

A retired engineer, Schatz has been taking photos since he was in high school.

For the past 12 years, he has enjoyed displaying his work and sharing stories behind his photographic adventures.

As for photography in the digital age, Schatz said, “The technology has made a real difference, I think for the positive.”

But, the mere fact of advanced technology doesn’t mean taking a good photo is less challenging.

“It’s still about capturing the right scene,” Schatz said. “Otherwise, you won’t get anything worthwhile.”

If you go

The photography of Joe Schatz is on view through May at the Lincoln Public Library, 3 Bedford Road, Lincoln. Free. Library hours: 1 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 781-259-8465 or

Margaret Smith is Arts and Calendar editor at GateHouse Media New England’s Northwest Unit. E-mail her at