Flagler Artists: The Camera Brought Him to Palm Coast

Not everyone’s budget affords wall-size professional photography. Dave Bowers, an award-winning Palm Coast based photographer, has an answer for that challenge.
During his current show at the Grand Gallery running through the middle of June, Bowers is offering a digital deal.
“For $150, I will sell the digital file in a large size for the customer to print as many copies to their heart’s delight,” Bowers told Palm Coast Magazine. “I just want to get more product out there. This is an opportunity for people to customize these images in their décor at a price that is very affordable. I am selling the digital image for two-thirds the cost (of photos printed and framed). This is that opportunity for people to have that same art in their homes and customize the sizing to their needs.”
Bowers’ current show is divided into two parts.
The first titled, “Iron Men and Wooden Ships,” has a navigational theme with a nod to old wooden sailing ships. The second, simply titled “Surrealism,” is exactly that: Each of the individual images in that portion of Bowers’ exhibit are multi-layered images that as Bowers explains creates something that never existed before through the layering effect to create a sense of surrealism.
“I have just fallen in love with this,” he said with a clearly noted level of passion in his voice.
An example of Bowers’ interpretation of surrealism is his “Feline Fashion Show” image.
While living in North Carolina, Bowers was hired by a ballet to do promotional photography of the dancers. That gig inspired him to combine images of paper dolls and the plethora of accessory options such as dresses and hats with photos of the heads of cats on the human body paper dolls.
“Oh, fun, is correct,” Bowers said when this writer was admittedly tickled by the idea upon hearing it during our phone interview.
Bowers, now 74, discovered Palm Coast in his mid-60s when he was driving from North Carolina to the Everglades for a photography gig documenting the negative impact python snakes released there were having on indigenous mammals.
“Palm Coast was about in the middle, about eight hours into the drive, and was a great spot to grab a hotel room,” he said. “I looked around a bit and said to myself, ‘you know, I could live here.’”
At the time, Bowers first wife had recently died and so his household consisted of himself and a cat. That was about eight years ago.
Since then, Bowers has immersed himself in all things Palm Coast including becoming president of the Flagler Beach Photography Club. The club’s Facebook page currently has more than 3,200 followers worldwide, Bowers said, and he enjoys seeing images submitted daily from across the globe.
“Who knew?” he joked.
But then again, as Bowers said, one never knows where a camera will take you.
He started his career in photography taking photos of events at Madison Square Garden in New York City. During a circus, he was stationed underneath the pedestal that a lion sits on when not performing.
“I got gold,” he shared about the experience taking photos of lions jumping through flaming hoops from where he was safely stationed below the action.
“The camera has taken me to places mere mortals dare not go,” he joked.
See examples of Bowers photography at the Flagler Beach Photography Club’s self-named page on Facebook.
— Amy Armstrong