•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Friday, July 4, 2008

Wish You Were Here


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: I debated a long time before posting this. Why is that? To me it is too easy and comfortable. It is the postcard view - Bass Harbor as seen from the Port of Bernard. It says, we had a good time visiting Bass Harbor and maybe ate lobster there, but not much more.

What continues to interest me about it, and the reason I'm posting it, is its power to draw the eye deep and the various "scapes" traversed in getting there. At first glance, three pink blossoms in the foreground are balanced by a corner of Bass Harbor where two boats lie at rest and reflect on the nearly still water. However much greater interest lies around the shore of Bernard with its odd complement of fishing piers - perhaps your eye has already jumped to the last of these as it basks in the light of sunset and reflects more tremulously. This must be seen at screen size or near. Something about this pier's simplicity and the neat row of traps with their red & white buoys kept drawing my camera every time I shot in Bernard. I would have liked to try it from the water.

Eventually, one moves across the jetty and the harbor inlet to the ferry terminal on the Bass Harbor side and the green, steel trusswork that supports the ferry boarding apparatus. The intricacy of its structure adds delicacy and helps make the small scale convincing. Beyond is an outer harbor where sailboats are moored, removed from the commercial fishing boats of the back harbor. The outer harbor is still bathed in sunlight and capped by the last of what were especially pretty clouds. A few of those earlier clouds would have been nice. Even in jpg and reduced resolution, however, the masts catching full sun invite the eye, and lead one to scan the opposite shore. An island? An arm of the mainland? I'm not sure. I had a great time; the lobster was fresh. Wish you were here.

I spent some time determining the right height at which to set the camera and where to place the horizon. As I recall, I pulled back a bit to assure that there would be clear gaps delineating each level of the harborscape.

In many ways this is the opposite of yesterday's posting. This was taken with a 22mm, (moderate wide angle) lens. It draws the eye deep instead of compressing toward a plane. In the end I confess to preferring yesterday's shot of the inner harbor with its risky cropping and weighted composition, and its traditional uprightness. Whatever else that one may have or lack, it has a bit of attitude.

[22mm, f14, 160th, ISO 400] For what it's worth, had I not reduced the aperture to f14, I would not have caught the gull. If I were not hoping for a bird, it would likely have been at f22 or f25.