Fine Art Photography
Copyright ©1968-2002 by Dick Pierce
All Rights Reserved
In a field in the south of Duxbury stands a grand tree, alone, its nearest neighbor perhaps a hundred yards away. It rules the top of a small knoll. On this crisp winter morning, many symmetries called out. There is the distorted mirror reflection of the tree's shadow, there is the curious symmetry between the tree's shape and the scattered sunlight in the clear winter air. I carefully positioned the camera to balance all these elements and hide enough of the disk of the sun to avoid any internal reflections, and underexposed slightly to retain the fine detail in the sunlit snow.
Nikon N90, Nikon 24-50mm @24mm, Agfa HDC200+
Snug Harbor in Duxbury is nearly always humming with activity. The bay itself is a large calm but not very deep expanse of water, protected from the ravages of the open ocean by a long, sandy barrier reef. Seemingly in the center of all this bussle is the Duxbury Bay Marine School, providing instruction and activities in basic sailing, racing and more. I happened upon this scene in early May, as their program was getting underway for the season. The boats were sitting on a float behind a large concrete quay, the back of which was in deep shadow. A 25A red filter helped darken the skylight-illuminated shadows, while a polarizer removed nearly all reflections on the calm water. The camera was set on a tripod and a small aperture was used to maximize depth of field. Just a wee bit of burning-in finished the job.
Nikon F3, Nikon 180mm f2.8, Ilford XP-2 Super
The Bay Farm Reserve in Duxbury is the southernmost terminus of a system of walking trails that extends around Boston and ends up on the North Shore. The Bay Farm itself has a network of trails, winding through cedar groves, across an open meadow, and along the shore of Duxbury Bay. This image was shot from atop an outcropping of weathered granite to the east out to sea. The low scudding clouds were illuminated by scattered light from the rising sun, and exhibited the almost mono-tonal hue seen here.
Nikon N90, Nikon 24-50mm @35mm, Agfa HDC200+
Take a walk through Cohassett Harbor, and you will come upon any number of small houses and cottages, everyone different. This one I encoutered on a brilliant, clear spring morning. It was one of those moments when I could see clearly and unambiguously through to the final image, what Ansel Adams defined as "visualization." All elements of the final image were clear: composition, tonal values. This is an example when wide zoom lenses come into their own. The only cropping I do on the negative is to change the proportions of the frame. All of the composition was done by moving back and forth to get the perspective just right, then using the zoom to tighten up the cropping. It's also an example of a "found" composition: it looks staged and arranged, but you see the scene exactly as I found it. The picture, to me, is reminiscent of a number of skillfully-executed contemporary watercolor paintings.
Nikon N90S, Nikon 24-50mm @40mm, Agfa HDC200+
As a foliage image, I prefer this one over the previous. I find the intertwined limbs more interesting as the main subject, while the brilliant foliage acts more as a backdrop. Portions of the bark showed a brilliant specular glare, so I used a polarizing filter to knock the edge off the extreme highlights. The filter also deepened the saturation in some of the leaves as well.
Nikon 6006, Nikon 35-70mm @50mm, Agfa HDC200+
Imprisoned within a most impressive cage lies a most unimpressive stone: a piece of granite with "1620" carved into its top. It is alledged that nearly 400 years ago, when the Pilgrims landed on these shores, the rock was much bigger, befitting its historic significance, but it was chipped down to its current size by nefarious souvenir hunters. And so the grand edifice was built to protect it from loss altogether. I preferred to render the architectural details of the monument instead.
Nikon F2, Nikkor 105mm, T-Max 400
Another view of the Bay Farm Reserve in Duxbury, a dense grove of cedars. Shot on a bright cloudy day, there was not a lot of light available. Using the PC-Nikkor lens with a slight upward shift to prevent converging lines, I shot with a small aperture to achieve as deep a depth of field as possible. A red filter was used to tone down the bluish highlights and lighten the leaves on the ground.
Nikon F3, PC-Nikkor 35mm, Ilford XP-2 Super
This large barn is located in Norwell, about 2 miles from where I live. Passing by it on a rainy fall day, I found this composition to be interesting. Photographing cedar shingles under these conditions can be difficult, because the wet shingles take on brilliant specular reflections of the flat sky, often washing them out entirely. As a result, such images, despite the low overall light level, have a tremendous dynamic range, so careful a careful compromise exposure must be chosen.
Nikon 6006, Nikon 70-210 @100mm, Agfa HDC200+