Rockport Photography in Massachusetts
If any of you have been to Rockport Massachusetts you probably gravitated to Motif #1 and with good reason. The red color against the blue of the harbor is a natural, attention grabber. Also, the rustic nature of the building is and has been a magnet for artists and photographers for well over a hundred years. (circa, 1884)
I’m no different from all of you and the first thing I like to do is to walk out on “T” wharf for a comforting first glance. It’s familiar and unchanging in this constantly changing world. My very first image of the “Motif #1” was in 2003. My Dad was taking me around to local locations after I retired from the Air Force. I took this shot and I thought it was great.
There are two things wrong with this image (Seen below in the set of 3), if you are really good you could name a dozen but to keep this brief, the two BIG things wrong with it are: It’s boring (except for the seagull’s shadow) and 2nd, EVERYBODY who visits Rockport to create their own New England Photography, shoots the same damn shots! Just google “Rockport Motif#1” and click images. Literally, everybody shoots/paints it from the same three angles and this proves it.
The three primary shots everyone goes for
There is a reason that these are the most common locations for capturing Motif #1. They give some of the best compositions for painters and photographers alike. X1 is from “T” wharf. X2 is from the small boat launch ramp next door to Tucks Candies on Mount Pleasant st. X3 is found by around onto Bearskin Neck rd and then a quick right onto Bradley Wharf rd. PLEASE note, there are homes and businesses that open onto this driveway so please be respectful of their property.
The three shots you will see on Google and yes, I have the same angles as well because they are iconic and lead to great compositions. But as seen below they can be boring and overdone, so how to make them interesting?
How NOT to come home with boring shots of Rockport
First, if you shot Motif #1 from T wharf as seen above, keep it, as it’s a pleasant memory. Next time, get up real early, I mean REAL early and arrive while the sunrise is just in your imagination. This is great for two reasons. First, you can get a free parking spot on “T” wharf (right side only, left side is for residents). Second, for the next few hours, you can make some magic happen.
Next please have already picked up a coffee at Dunkin, as the local places don’t open for a while and I don’t want you distracted.
The first technique to improving your images, Dawn!
Dawn to me is the magic time for Rockport as well as most photography we as photographers, do and if you want to see what these same/similar angles look like at dawn….
I find on those mornings with a little bit of cloud cover to make for the best sunrises. All of these are from the same starting locations but all I did was to change the time of day. The two where the sun is in the image, well those are HDR. Three images (over exposed, under, and balanced) blended together so you get the best of the highlights and shadows and you don’t end up with a silhouette of Motif #1. But the rest are basically as you saw the morning with the naked eye.
Next week I will go and explore some other locations (with map) and then what you might see if you don’t put Motif #1 in every frame. Lastly, I’ll tell you when you do finish your shooting, where to go and get a bite to eat.
- Article by Lisa and Jeff Folger
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