Postcard from Maine (4)



Color. It can make or break a photograph, and for those of you who have been following my photographic journey over the past couple of years, you’ll know that I have become more and more intrigued with removing colors and distilling a scene down into the most important of elements… lines, shapes, contrasts, textures and how they all interact compositionally within that little rectangle that is the view finder… in black and white.

All concepts around trying to create a good compositional scene apply, as does my mantra of trying to make any scene your own and not just a mimic of someone else’s photography. As suggestions to help achieve this, I’d recommend experimenting with placing important elements nearer the edges of the frame, using the rule of thirds where appropriate, and if you latch onto something interesting… leverage it… go for it. Really try to accentuate what you find… just look at those incredible textures in the striated rocks of Pemaquid Point, and depending on when you visit, you might just get a chance to shoot some cool reflections.

This is a remarkable location… one that I’d highly recommend spending some serious time exploring. It’s one of those places where someone interested in practicing their craft has ample opportunity to spend time on a variety of compositional choices. I’ve spent a whole day here feeling like a kid in a candy store – there are all sorts of textures and elements that can be used to create a variety of compositions. This place can be shot wide, tight with a telephoto lens, and of course… in unique conditions and with a little imagination it can really shine. In the color version I used a long shutter to help streak the clouds a little and add another element… maybe it helps and maybe it clutters? It’s OK to question.

Color in the first and a more simple black and white composition in the second… I’d be curious if you’ve shot this location, and what you think about the different impact each has. If you have shot Pemaquid, drop a link in the comments and show us what you got!

4-20-14Pemaquid Point

17 thoughts on “Postcard from Maine (4)

  1. Very interesting textures in the cliffs and the way they seem to point towards the buildings. I prefer the colour version really, there is alot going on in the different tonalities that seem to get lost in the b/w version. There seems to be a bit of an odd colour cast (from the grad?) to the colour version.

    It would also be cool if you somehow could get higher up and make the buildings distinguish themselves more from the horizon instead of being partly covered by it. Then again, I suppose that is nearly impossible.

    Just my thoughts.


  2. The first image almost seems to start out black and white at the bottom of the frame (front) of the shot and gradually become colour as we move to the top of the frame (back). I love the textures and this illusion of becoming coloured.

  3. I like both, to be honest. My first impression is to prefer the color version, but after a bit of reflection I think I like the b/w a bit better. I just think it’s a stronger composition and the striation in the rocks leads one’s eye to the lighthouse perfectly. The snow is a nice touch as well.

    I think I leaned toward the color image because of the reflection in the small pool in the rock and the sky. The one time I got to shoot here was an overcast day, but I did have some pools to form the reflection. So, I focused on that. Here’s a sample of both in color.

    Great work – as usual.

  4. Dave Longfellow

    I’ve shot the Pemaquid lighthouse for 33 years (as of this summer) and I every time I visit I always find a reason to take another image. I’ve never shot the area when there is snow, however. I love to shoot at dawn here with the first light skimming the rocks and catching the lighthouse. I think both images you’ve presented work well. I’m a sucker for B&W, so I might lean slightly toward that one. The light on the house/lighthouse makes it pop a bit more in the monochrome version.

    Keep them coming!

  5. I love the reflection of the lighthouse in the color shot. But the angle makes if look so very far a way. What a great contradiction. Both shots are…beautiful, is not the word; they are beyond that, to me.

  6. I’ve been to Maine so many times and unfortunately have never shot this location. It’s just hit my “must photograph” list. While I love B&W in this case I prefer the color version because of all the wonderful details and variations in color in the cliffs.

  7. Vicki

    I’m a big fan of B & W, but in this case i like the colour better as you can see more of those lovely rock colours (and the pool of water breaks the dark areas of rock.

    Very nice composition though.

  8. You are so right about the amount of enthusiasm you have for things helping you to get the most out of them when photographing. I really feel that is the best tip for creating good compositions, much better than most ‘rules’ and ‘tricks’ you read about. I love the color for its balance and the B&W for its focus on the rock’s structure.

  9. Bob and Jeanne

    Dave, You’ve helped me to understand that there is more to viewing a photo and liking or disliking it. I now have a deeper understanding of what there is to see and appreciate in the photo. I especially liked your comment about the rocks being lined up in one of the Maine coast photos.

I'd love to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s