I had planned for weeks and traveled 277 miles from my home to arrive at this place. The rugged coast of Maine’s Acadia National Park and its incredible landscape. Being winter, the park was closed for the season and the tourists gone. I was alone, looking at the ocean gently intersecting with the monolithic geology of the shoreline.
Pausing to gather myself before starting to roam about and shoot, I perched on a rock in anticipation of watching the sun peek above the horizon. While watching the scene unfold before me, I became entranced in that moment – just me, the sky, the water and the landscape. I was in the great wide open, alone with elements. Many thoughts crossed my mind as I sat there and took it all in, but they quickly vanished as the awesomeness of this place became set in my mind.
I realized the morning light I traveled all this way to photograph was quickly expiring, so I stood up, setup my tripod and captured the image below. I took many other images that morning, but this one best captures the essence of that moment.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Simplicity of a Primitive Age, 2010 – from the series Momentary
Otter Point, Acadia National Park, Maine
This photograph was made at Otter Point in Acadia National Park, Maine and particularly resonates with me for several reasons. I find the most interesting feature to be the ambient and soft quality of light. Because of the sky and ocean, the image has a blue hue to it, which I find very compelling. This effect is especially apparent in the large boulder in the foreground.
The two large boulders, while contrasting in color, setup a harmony and rhythm to the image by balancing each other out. This theme is extended by the collection of smaller surrounding forms which continue the flow both in shape and color.
One final element which attracts me to this particular image is the sense of mystery I get from it. This feeling is driven by the dark crevices between the forms and the stillness of the water in the background.
I don’t take a lot of photographs of fall foliage. Sure it’s beautiful, but it has never struck me as a helpful way to convey what I want in my art. Similar to the way sunsets are beautiful, but many times not that interesting. However, the glimpses of colorful foliage in this photograph supply just enough detail and contrast for the photograph to make a compelling image. The foliage doesn’t make the image on its own, but complements the other elements at work, forming a cohesive and inspiring image.
Some of the other interesting features at work are:
- How the stillness of the water emphasizes the atmospheric quality of the sky through its reflection
- The appearance of depth implied by opposite shore seen in the middle strengthens the overall impact of the photo
- It looks mysteriously calm, yet bright and uplifting
- The dark shadows in between the trees
There are certainly much more vivid displays of New England fall foliage than this, but I believe this image is stronger than many classic foliage images because it doesn’t rely entirely on colorful leaves for its strength.
Taken early on an October morning at Warner’s Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.
Below are some images from a sunrise at the National Seashore in Wellfleet. I didn’t actually see the sun come over the horizon since it was cloudy for the first hour of my visit but took some interesting shots around 7am when the clouds abated.
The wide range of textures and vastness in these images is compelling and visually stimulating. They also have an interesting pallet characteristic of the Cape, but with a contemporary, fresh and clean feel. This effect can be attributed to the brightness of the light in the images as reflected by the relative stillness of the ocean.
As you can tell from the plethora of Cape Cod images on my website and this blog, I am mesmerized by the unique landscape of the Cape. My favorite and bestselling set of photo note cards is not surprisingly from Wellfleet, a town on the outer Cape. Here’s a glimpse of the Wellfleet collection of cards from NotecardArtist.com, my website dedicated to the cards which I launched last year. Enjoy.
From left: Lecount Hollow, Great Island, and Cahoon Hollow
I took both of these on the same morning, very close to one another. They are part of an experiment in “banding” – capturing stripes of color/texture. The effect helps abstract nature and the resulting impression is unexpected.
I’m also a fan of the vertical format, which works really well for these. [I find it hard to show vertical images online, so many of my online selections are horizontal. My exhibited work is primarily vertical.]
For the past two years, I’ve been exhibiting my work in the Somerville Open Studios, which is the largest artist open studios event in New England. While preparing for the show this year, I have found myself reflecting on my work, revisiting images I haven’t looked at in a long time and pondering where my work as a whole is going. This process feels different than preparing for an exhibition which has the defined scope and direction required to produce a cohesive series. While getting ready for my exhibitions over the past year has certainly contributed to the development of my images, getting ready for this open studio has been surprisingly inspiring due to the new ideas that have come out.
The two images below were taken a few feet apart on a trip to Cape Cod last year. I skipped over them originally when editing the trip’s images and was pleasantly startled by their look after converting them to black and white. I had intended them as color images, but a dim, grainy look developed as I worked, giving them a dissimilar feel to my color images of late.
A similar thing happened when I started working with the image below of rime ice encrusted alpine grasses, taken above treeline in the White Mountains. While the rime ice image is bolder and has a simpler aesthetic, the intention, feeling and impact are shared.
Click the screen shot below to view the virtual exhibition. I originally made this as a quick project to give anyone who couldn’t make it to my exhibition Boundless, a chance to experience it online.
I created it by photographing a series of 25 images in the gallery and then stitching them into a single panorama. I then converted it to the virtual room with Pano to VR. It gives a great feel for the room, and being able to zoom into each photo is much more akin to an actual gallery experience that an online gallery or slide show. The virtual exhibition format also gives viewers a better sense of how the image placement and order influence the exhibition.
There are some imperfections introduced where the individual frames were stitched together. For example, the crown molding makes the seams between image frames stand out, though these could be fixed with some more time in Photoshop. The resolution was also shrunken down considerably in order to make the download a manageable size (2.5mb).
Virtual Exhibition Screenshot
Sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time. The trick is to be ready for it and this morning I was. On the way to Marblehead from Boston, I stopped at a little beach to watch the sunrise. It was overcast, so I was not expecting much, but as I stood atop the seawall, I was astounded as the sky lit up in beautiful shades of purple and magenta! It only lasted a few minutes, but was magnificent.
This small swatch of land I stopped at is Beach Bluff Park on the Marblehead – Swampscott Border. I’ve photographed here before as it is an interesting albeit small preserved area. A local group is working to preserve the land here by rebuilding the seawall that protects it. If you like the images, you might consider helping them out with a small donation.