© 2003, Rick Sammon, All Rights Reserved
If you are looking for a
picturesque setting in which to photograph landscapes, seascapes, and
people, I highly recommend Maine. The light is wonderful, and so are
the people. You can use Rockport or neighboring Camden as your home
base. Both towns have plenty of motels and bed and breakfasts, but you
need to make a reservation well in advance, due to the popularity of
the area and the number of festivals (including the July Lobster Festival)
that draw tourists from around the country.
Here are two tips for traveling
and getting great shots: First, you will notice as you read through this
column, I only used two lenses for this photo shoot. When traveling, I
found that traveling light has an advantage: I don't miss shots
hunting through my camera bag looking for lenses. Second, drive around
on back roads as much as you can. You'll find countless photo ops,
from buildings to people to scenery.
Belfast is about an hour's drive north of Rockport. The people in
this quiet, waterfront town are friendly and enjoy being photographed.
I photographed Bill Kief, owner of Kief's Barber Shop, with my 16-35mm
lens set to 35mm. I used a small aperture to get everything in focus.
I made this picture by asking Bill to pose with the colorful sign and
barber pole outside his store. In Photoshop, I lightened Bill's
face just a bit.
Pemaquid can be a one-hour
or a several-hour drive south of Rockport (if you take your time and photograph
along the way). In Pemaquid, the main attraction is the Pemaquid Lighthouse,
which is surrounded by spectacular granite rock formations--these
also make wonderful photographic subjects. For my shots of the lighthouse,
I set my 16-35mm lens to 16mm and pointed my camera up toward the lighthouse's
beacon. A small aperture helps to get everything in focus. A polarizing
filter helped to darken the sky, which I darkened even more in Photoshop.
The fence was my foreground element, which added a sense of depth to the
Rockland is a 15-minute drive north of Rockport. Go down to the fishing
dock in the early morning and you'll find lobster and fishing boats--if
the catch was good and the boats are in. If the boats are still out, as
they were one day when I was there, focus your camera on the scenery.
Camden Harbor is filled with
wonderful sailing boats, which make nice subjects. For perhaps a more
creative image, try to capture a boat's reflection. Underexpose
just a bit to bring out the colors in the scene. For this shot, I used
my 28-105mm lens set at 105mm.
As a travel photographer, my number one goal is to get nice people pictures.
That's because a) I love to photograph people, and b) in the travel
features I write for the Associated Press, my editor wants people pictures.
In Rockport, I found the people especially friendly and eager to be photographed.
I photographed this girl in the shade, where the soft light was flattering
to her face--and freckles. I set my 28-105mm lens at 105mm. That
setting, combined with a wide aperture, blurred the background. In Photoshop,
I removed some of the green cast on the girl's face caused by the
sunlight passing through the leaves.
Sure, this is a typical snapshot of lobster buoys. But it's the
kind of shot that makes it into travel articles--because it actually
tells a story: each lobster boat has its buoys painted in a unique way
so that their traps can easily be identified. If you plan to get your
photos published, look for pictures that tell a story. For this shot,
I set my 28-105mm lens at 28mm, pointed and snapped the shot.
Want to end a day with a sunset cruise? Set sail on a cruise from Camden.
There are several boats from which to choose. I took a two-hour cruise
on the Windjammer Appledore and sailed on the calm seas for two hours.
I photographed the harbor and passing boats. The tour cost $25. Good fun!
For tour information, call (207) 236-8353.
Sea captains can make great subjects. For this photograph, taken in Rockland,
I asked the captain to stand by the hull of his boat, which provided a
non-distracting background. The pillar on which he is leaning, the porthole,
and the yellow hawser (technical name for yellow rope) are all elements
that add to this "environmental portrait." For most of my
portraits, I like to shoot on overcast days, when the soft light is flattering
to the subject. My lens for this shot was my 28-105mm set at about 50mm.
Rick Sammon is the author of
"Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Digital Photography."