Albert O. Fischer 3rd returns again and again to take pictures of Keith Farm in Chilmark. His father managed the farm for 50 years, and Mr. Fischer said when he looks through the lens of his camera, he sees his childhood.

“I helped my dad build that wall. I remember when that pond was made. I used to trap muskrats in that pond and sold pelts to Sears Roebuck for five dollars apiece,” he told a gathering on Tuesday evening at the Francine Kelly Gallery at Featherstone Center for the Arts

Mr. Fischer’s picture of the Keith Farm is one of more than 150 photographs on display for Eyes of the Island: Vineyard Gazette photography, an exhibit that opened last month at Featherstone. On Tuesday the Gazette’s monthly off-season speaker series Tuesdays in the Newsroom kicked off at the new gallery, where 40 years of Gazette photography is on display.

Ten photographers whose work is featured in the show were on hand to tell the stories behind some of their favorite photos. A full crowd spilled out of the new Art Barn on a warm October evening.

Trailblazers - Alison Shaw, Peter Simon and Mark Lovewell. — Susie Middleton

Sometimes persistence paid off to grab just the right shot of birds or a passing comet, while other photos capture memories and lost eras.

Alison Shaw started working at the Gazette right after the paper acquired a new press. With the old printing process, photos had to be sent off-Island, where they were transferred to metal plates and sent back. The reproduction quality wasn’t great, Ms. Shaw, the former art director, said. Even with the new press, she said, her signature silhouettes were a product of black-and-white newspaper photography: they wouldn’t be ruined by a bad printing job.

Some classic photos were happy accidents. Ms. Shaw recounted how in 1990 she was on her way to Vineyard Haven to take a picture of a female bishop for the Gazette. Something else caught her eye: an older woman wearing headphones, pushing a baby carriage.

Ms. Shaw traveled a short distance more toward the assignment when her photographer’s sixth sense couldn’t be ignored. She turned her car around, took a picture of the woman from across the street, and got her name.

“Her name was Nanny Drummond,” she said as Gazette editor Julia Wells held up the photo for the audience to see. “And it was Mike Wallace’s grandchild.”

Peter Simon’s 1978 shot of the No Nukes Concert at Allen Farm in Chilmark captures an era, he told the gathering Tuesday. “The whole anti-nuke power movement was just beginning,” Mr. Simon said. A host of local singers were on hand, he said, and Mr. Simon’s shot shows the crowd dancing, probably to music by his sister, Carly Simon, he said.

“This brings back that era, that golden era,” he said.

Staff photographer Mark Lovewell, who has worked for the paper since 1978, was assigned to shoot the Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997.

Mr. Lovewell got up at 2 a.m. and brought his tripod to the Edgartown lighthouse. “The light was out,” he said. “I had to have light.” The next stop was the Ocean Park bandstand, which was too well-lit. So he headed to East Chop.

“I drove up to the East Chop Light and I took some pictures and this was the last picture on the roll of film,” he said, gesturing to the picture of the lighthouse, the comet and a creeping sunrise.

“Persistence pays off,” he said.

Photographer Steve Myrick said he uses a phone app to learn more about where the sun or moon will be at a given time. Attention to detail paid off with a photo of sunrise under the Oak Bluffs fishing pier that looks like a painting.

The audience began to applaud even before Maria Thibodeau started to talk about her front page photo from July of this year of five police officers sitting in front of the Oak Bluffs police station holding their newborn babies. “What I like about it, maybe it speaks to other people, is the juxtaposition of the masculinity of the policemen in uniform and nurturing, holding tiny babies,” she said.

Life as a freelance newspaper photographer brings surprises, Ms. Thibodeau said. “You get to encounter all kinds of situations that we may not have otherwise gotten into,” she said.

Jeanna Shepard said she was running short on time when she was assigned to take a picture of artist Ken Vincent. She ended up taking a portrait of the artist sprawled on the studio floor amid his artwork.

Another favorite, her portrait of the actress Amy Brenneman, was taken against a barn outside The Yard in Chilmark. “It was like the most fabulous light,” she said. “You couldn’t ask for anything more. Her green eyes . . . I just had to take the picture.”

A lamb at the Farm Institute stars in a black and white photo by Alison L. Mead. “I just waited for the moment . . . I think this really shows vulnerability. A very quiet, special moment,” she said.

Lanny McDowell, an avian photographer who among other things provides photos for the Gazette’s weekly bird column, talked about the technical aspects of his work. About a vivid photo of an American oystercatcher, he said: “This is cropped to give you an abstract painting, essentially.”

Timothy Johnson’s photography appears throughout the Gazette, including every Sunday on the newspaper’s website in the photo gallery called Island Light. On Tuesday, he described the day he went to Philbin Beach and got a shot of a green wave crashing over a rock amid a flock of sandpipers in flight.

“On the Vineyard it’s all about the light,” he said. “Every day looks different. I can go back the next day and it looks totally different.”

Eyes of the Island: Vineyard Gazette photography is open from noon to 4 p.m. daily until Oct. 22, at the Francine Kelly Gallery at Featherstone for the Arts. Admission is free.

See the photos discussed Tuesday.