Fifteen Abstractions -Three Mile Harbor


I’ve been invited to join The Wednesday Group, a collective of local painters who meet to paint en plein air at various locales around town. I was pleased to get the invitation since I’ve displayed with several members before and I admire all their work. Plus, the idea intrigues me–photographing on site with a group of painters.

Yesterday we visited the area around the Three Mile Harbor marina in East Hampton. It was a clear breezy morning: from my perspective, not a great day for landscapes. While my painter friends looked for windless spots to set up their easels,   I moseyed around the boatyard where I found plenty to photograph. I settled on abstractions (or semi-abstractions), because I liked the way the images resembled paintings.

The fifteen photographs were shot between 9 am and 11 am. The first is a water reflection and the “sweep” image is a detail of a flatbed truck. The rest are close-ups of ship hulls or the racks supporting them. Most of the photographs have cues suggesting scale, but some do not. You can click on any picture to bring up the full-sized version.

41 thoughts on “Fifteen Abstractions -Three Mile Harbor

  1. Sono tutte bellissime, dalla prima all’ultima. Un grande occhio, John; molti complimenti!

  2. Oh, I really really like these, John. Close up snippets that become abstracts appeal to me enormously. Love the hairy rope shadow and the gorgeous colours and compositions.

  3. GREAT WORK! These work so well as a set. I like the first shot which offers some context to the others. Very nice. Inspiring stuff – I just want to get out with my camera again! (I’ve only just got in!!!) Thanks for sharing, Best wishes, N.

    1. Thanks! Photographing a group of images like this is really enjoyable: one idea leads quickly to the next, In the old film days, that “flow” was a lot harder to achieve. Glad to hear you’ll be heading to shoot again. -JT

    1. That’s a major compliment KUM– thanks so much. These are always a lot of fun to shoot– this group in particular, because it was all spontaneous work with a handheld camera.

      Photographing a group of images of this sort, feels a bit like improvising variations on a theme.

  4. Smashing images John. I think No.12 is my favourite. There’s something quite special about the composition I think. All round an interesting project. I wouldn’t mind an invitation like that myself.

  5. That is an interesting idea; joining a group of painters with your camera as a tool. I like the way you have interpreted the experience. I especially like the rusted, timeworn surfaces and compositions.

  6. Beautiful series, John. I’d be interested to see the painters’ works that were made while you took these. Think it’s great you’ve joined their group.

    1. Thanks Richard. I’m looking forward to seeing some paintings as well. Most of the other artists were working with acrylics, creating landscapes that would require additional work back at the studio. If I have the opportunity to post a link to your comment, I will do so.

  7. Sounds like a great opportunity and I’m glad that you took advantage so well, and told us about it. Really nice series, and very painterly indeed! Perfect way to handle the breezy day.

    1. Thanks Lynn, it was a lot of fun, breeziness notwithstanding. 😉
      btw- I’ve posted a link at Richard’s comment up above which will take you to a landscape from one of the painters.

  8. These are so lovely, and as mentioned above, so painterly! Boatyards are fantastic places for shots, the colours so vivid..

  9. è incredibile come una volta i pittori cercavano di riprodurre la realtà a un livello fotografico, invece adesso sono i fotografi che riproducono dei quadri… veramente belle !!!

    1. Grazie. Questa è davvero una buona osservazione, e ‘accaduto per decenni. Aaron Siskind potrebbe essere stato il primo fotografo che ha cercato di imitare l’espressionismo astratto. Il cerchio è completo.

  10. When you let your mind go blank for a moment and not try to make out what the images are on these photos, especially the first 6 photos, you’d think you were staring at an abstract painting or something. I even imagined them framed similarly and clustered on a large wall.

    1. Big like for your comment. Thanks Mary Ann. You’ve verbalized the precise thing that draws me to photograph these images in the first place.

  11. Your blog always encourages me to explore more with abstractions. Since I moved from primarily b&w it has been a neglected area of my photography.

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