Last week I talked about some ideas on Three not to miss locations OR How not to make boring images.
Whether you are reading this with a mind to exploring Rockport or you are a photographer looking to visit and create your own creative images of Rockport Massachusetts, the first thing that ask yourself is what is your goal? Are you looking to create some wonderful memories or some iconic coastal images of motif #1?
Photographer, Nancy De Flon, commented on the last article, by asking, “Do the “Non-Motif #1 images sell”? Basically, do the rest of the shots that we take of Rockport’s “creative scenic locations” have a chance of selling or should we just keep photographing the same iconic Motif #1 images that everyone else takes?
First off, do we do this to create memories? Or, do we do it, to make a buck or two from our Art? When I get out of bed at 3 AM in order to arrive in Rockport before the sunrise, you better believe, I’m making some memories today.
What’s the old adage? The best laid plans of mice and men… 🙂 I head out with the plan to create some creative images of Rockport Massachusetts but if the weather changes or if the sunrise is blah, then I go with plan B. My backup plan is to enjoy the morning, exploring for the umpteenth time, the wharves and back streets of Rockport.
I will also plan to end up at Helmut’s Strudel on Bearskin Neck Rd. (don’t take my word for it, just go!)
The bottom line, what sells?
This is the age-old question and in the past four years, I’ve only sold four different images (but I sold a few of them many times) of Rockport through my online gallery at Vistaphotography. (seen below) In Salem I’ve sold many Creative images of Rockport Massachusetts as cards or matted prints but I didn’t keep track back then.
As you can see, most all of my images that have sold have been of the iconic Motif #1. I recently sold the image of the fisherman’s shack with lobster buoys as a shower curtain. So to answer Nancy, I would have to say in my experience that iconic images of Motif #1 are what sells, especially if you can combine weather elements or processing that makes them different or special.
Creative Images of Rockport
Walking along Bradley Wharf in Rockport usually leads a photographer to photograph Motif #1 at the end of the pier. What if today, you went out on Bradley wharf and photographed everything but Motif #1? Many people do this already, from the lobster buoy garden to the other fishing shacks along this wharf.
I’m including a map above with some locations to give consideration to.
Did you know that you can see Straitsmouth lighthouse from the end of Bearskin Neck Rd. If you check marker X4 or X6 you can see off in the distance the lighthouse. Straitsmouth lighthouse which marks the entrance to Rockport harbor is too far for most lenses to get a good shot of it. If you’re lucky, you might get an atmospheric assist, like this one.
You can also look back into the outer harbor to create interesting compositions. If nothing else just start walking down the back streets or down tuna wharf to see what it looks like before all the tourists get in there. Here are a few of my non-Motif shots from along Tuna Wharf.
One of the last areas to head to and talk about is X5 on the map or the headlands. As you motor out of the harbor, they will be on your right. If you get to Rockport during the day and get a good parking spot you may want keep it and instead walk out there. if you arrive like me a 4-5AM you can drive up Atlantic (Note, it’s a one way street) so check the map and as you make that second left you will find space for a couple small cars.
I have gone out there several times to get the full moon setting over Motif. Well I didn’t calculate correctly and the sunrise didn’t happen close enough to light up the foreground so my shots were too dark.
I waited another 30 minutes (shivering in the cold) and photographed the sunrise coming up behind Straitsmouth Lighthouse. Before I headed back to my car I went back to my spot facing Motif number one, I was liking the light coming up on Bearskin Neck and the breakwater jetty.
It all comes down to this, what do you want to shoot? Also why do you come out to shoot? For me, it’s wonderful to come out and see and enjoy the sunrise. John Muir did say to not miss the sunrise or the sunset if possible. The fact that I’m also able to occasionally, sell one of my prints, makes me happy. Something that makes me equally happy is getting up early to greet the morning sun, listen to the calls of the seagulls and of course stop at Helmut’s for a sticky bun and a great cup of coffee. Sitting on their deck overlooking the harbor with the sunrise.
If you are interested in seeing some more of my Rockport images, I have these here.
Of course if you are interested in any of my images, they are all for sale and you will find them in my Rockport Massachusetts gallery.
- Article by Lisa and Jeff Folger
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