Joe Orchulli II: A photographer and musician

Exhibit at Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library through August
Sun, 08/16/2015 - 12:00pm

Joe Orchulli has “the eye.”

When Orchulli worked at the Boothbay Register, his photographs consistently brought the paper top honors from the Maine Press Association and the New England Press Association.

Why? Because he has that gift for composition, the ability to recognize a scene, person or place that would make a great subject; he always seems to be in the right place at the right time, and he’s rarely without his camera.

Twenty-six examples of Orchulli’s photos (on canvas) are currently on exhibit at the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, at 4 Oak Street, till the end of this month. Most of the exhibit is in the upstairs conference room, but four or five are in the  Great Room downstairs.

Local images in the show are of Boothbay Shores, Ocean Point, Cuckolds Light, Ram Island Light and the Schooners Eastwind and Sherman Zwicker. Recognizable people photographed include the late Gus Pratt in his store, sailmaker Nat Wilson aboard the Discovery, and drama teacher/performer Mary Miller.

So, remember that right place, right time, thing? “Paradise Bird” is a case in point. That gorgeous great white heron, the deepening shades of blue in the water, the movement in the water and the bird — you can almost hear the air as the wings gracefully move. The sailboat on the horizon looks almost toy-like; in fact, if were not for the diagonal line your eye makes from the top of the heron’s head to the sailboat, you might overlook it!

Another time and place pic is “Snowbirds.” What are the chances? Or maybe it’s not that unusual to see so many of these beauties in one tree together in Venice, Florida, where Orchulli now lives. It’s a stunning photo.

His images of the Bounty, of which he was once a crew member, are gorgeous; the graceful lines and workmanship captured both on-board and docked here in Boothbay Harbor. 

Orchulli spoke about his love of the Bounty, its crew and its captain and during the concert on the library lawn on Aug. 7. He dedicated Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” to his friends who survived and those who did not.

Orchulli sang songs (he’s a soothing, public radio voiced kind of tenor) by other artists, including The Beatles “With A Little Help From My Friends,” John Denver’s “Annie” (dedicated to his mother, a former singer), and donned his harp for Neil Young’s “Heart Of Gold.”

Copies of his new CD, “Rain Down,” were available (for the first time anywhere) at the concert. The cover shot, by Orchulli, naturally, is a stunning image of an eclipse.

Now, anyone who knows Orchulli knows he is a Christian, who writes about his love for God and God’s love for mankind. Basically, Orchulli’s message to audiences is this: Loving God back is just plain good for your soul, because without Him, there is an emptiness felt that cannot be filled by or with anything/one else.

The tunes on this new all original compilation include some strong  guitar work, as in “True Love Waits” and lingering melodies;  “Freedom” comes to mind here.

If you happen to be in Dresden on Saturday, Aug. 22, stop by The Freedom Center at 2 p.m. and hear Orchulli for yourself.

For more on Orchulli, his music, to purchase his new CD, and his photography, visit