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Children's book evokes author's love of Loch Raven

Award-winning photographer David Simpson has published a new book for children based on his love of Loch Raven Reservoir.

"The Swan at Loch Raven" is a 24-page book geared toward children who are nonreaders or those just beginning to read. The photography teaches children about the beauty of Loch Raven and the various animals that live there, including a great blue heron, beaver, geese, turtle, seagull and a beautiful swan.

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The book also teaches children about taking care of the environment, respect for others and not invading another person's territory. The book's narrator encounters a beautiful swan that was protective of his babies.

While the book is aimed toward children and providing opportunities for parents and children to read it together, Simpson has found that parents are buying the book as gifts for their older children, particularly those who are living out-of-town, to rekindle childhood memories of times spent at Loch Raven.

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The book is a collaboration between Simpson and his daughter, Anne Simpson Gilliard, a kindergarten and first grade teacher in Washington, D.C. Writer Tom Daniel provided the copy, and the book was designed by Glenn Gemmell.

Loch Raven has been an important part of David Simpson's life. He has spent much time exploring the area and brought his kids to Loch Raven when they were children.

In 2009, Simpson published "Loch Raven," a lush, glossy book of color photos of Loch Raven through the seasons, from an artistic point of view. "The Swan at Loch Raven" is a natural follow up to his first book.

"My hope is that when kids read the book they will remember to respect nature and all boundaries," Simpson said. "And I hope that the kids will encourage their parents to explore Loch Raven. It's often an area that many of us drive through every day and take for granted. It's so beautiful and in our backyards."

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While photography was Simpson's first professional focus, he is also a longtime dialogue film director, known for his lighting expertise in addition to being a noted beauty photographer. He has worked on projects in New York, Chicago, Toronto, Austin and internationally.

His eye for light, form and movement earned him a reputation as a much sought after director. He holds a bachelor's degree in photography from Maryland Institute College of Art and has returned to his first love — still photography — later in his career. The David Simpson Gallery Shop at Greetings & Readings in Hunt Valley features a variety of his recent photographic works of art.

The book retails for $15 and may be purchased at several stores in the Baltimore area including Greetings & Readings and Valley View Farms. It also can be found on Amazon.com. For more information, visit davidsimpsonimages.com.

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