Thank you for your interest in my exhibit “Places In Between – The Assabet River”. This exhibit is currently on display at Maynard Town Hall, 195 Main Street, Maynard Massachusetts. This particular exhibit is showing photographs from the larger Places In Between exhibit that were taken in Maynard.
The inspiration for the exhibit came from a passage in David Gessner’s book “Return of the Osprey”:
“it may be as simple as this: human constructs, whether architectural, philosophic, scientific, or literary, are strongest when nature serves at their base. The best of our creations are a marriage of the human and the wild, thought and instinct, the product of a place in between. And if it’s the places in between that are the most interesting and nourishing, then they are also the places that hold the most hope for the future.”
Over the years I’ve amassed a large collection of photographs of the Assabet River and I’m always interested in finding new ways of presenting them in slightly non-typical ways.
The “Artist’s Statement” for the exhibit
The Assabet River travels 31 miles from Westborough to Concord. Even though it flows through nine towns, several of which owe their very existence to the river, relatively few people who live and work along its path take perhaps more than a moment to enjoy its ever-changing landscape.
The photographs in this exhibit explore the Assabet River and its tributaries by seeking out places and moments “in between”. You will see transitions between the water and the shoreline, between water and ice, between water and air, and between the surface and what lies below.
These small places in between serve as metaphors, as the river finds itself in between: on a path to restoration after some 200 years of abuse. To learn more about how you can enjoy the Assabet River and its tributaries visit the Organization for the Assabet River’s website at assabetriver.org
Authenticity in these photographs
My nature photography (and for that matter all of the photography that bears my name) conforms to the “conservation photography” ethic. What this means is that I will not modify the essential content of the images. I alter the tone and occasionally the overall aspect ratio of the image to both bring out what I saw and felt when I captured the image, but I don’t alter the image (other than to remove dust spots, which technically aren’t part of the image). What you see is what was there and how the camera captured it (with whatever settings I chose at the time).
Why do I do this? My goal is not perfection. Nature isn’t perfect. My goal is that you see this river in a way that, perhaps, you haven’t seen before and it is important that what you are seeing be “real” — well, as real as a photograph can be.
Technical details about the photographs and prints…
The images were all captured digitally. I use a variety of Canon DSLR cameras and lenses. The cameras in this exhibit include a 40D, 1D Mark II, and a 5D Mark II. Lenses were typically the 70-200mm f/2.8L and the 24-70mm f/2.8L IS. Several of the images were taken while I was kayaking on the river, but the majority were taken on a shoreline with a tripod (I use a Gitzo tripod and a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead, most of the time).
Processing of the images was done in Adobe Lightroom. As noted above, I don’t modify the images beyond tonal adjustments. Most adjustments are minor, but some of the images employ changes beyond what I consider minor — although you probably won’t properly guess the ones that have more processing in them.
The images were printed on Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk paper. The majority of the images were printed with an Epson 4880 printer that uses the Ultrachrome K3 ink set. A handful of the images were printed on an Epson 2200 and its Ultrachrome inks. Both the paper and the inks are archival quality and should outlast the owner.
I matted and framed the photographs. If you are interested in purchasing an image I highly recommend that you just purchase a print and have it professionally matted and framed. I’m a much better photographer than I am a framer. Leave the final work to someone who specializes in it.
The large canvas print was printed and framed by Mpix. (Not part of the Maynard exhibit.)
My thanks to John Gates at Nashoba Brook Bakery for allowing me to exhibit my photographs in his shop for Rivers Month (June) in 2010. I’m also grateful to Emerson Hospital for allowing me to display the photographs in the autumn of 2010.
Thanks to Spencer Marks for the use of his Epson 4880 printer. This was a large project for me and attempting it on my aging Epson 2200 would be no fun at all.
Deepest thanks to my wife Betsy who helps guide me through so many of the details of these projects. Her love, understanding (and frequently, tolerance) makes my life worth living.
And, finally, thanks to everyone who has waded into the river to pick up trash, performed water quality testing, voted for a wastewater treatment plant upgrade, taken their kids fishing, told stories about how the river “used to be”, and who have in some way made this river special again. Groups like the Organization for the Assabet River, SuAsCo Watershed Community Council, Acton Stream Teams, and numerous other volunteer organizations have helped bring this river back from the brink through their advocacy, their data gathering and analysis, and their back-breaking dirty work. These photos wouldn’t exist without you.