One thing I have discovered over the past three years of sharing images of the Town of Marblehead is that there is incredible beauty to be found almost everywhere you look.  The downside to that beauty is that I tend to come away with a number of good images from each outing and the photos keep piling up.  As of this post, I have shared 715 images but I have 332 processed and just waiting to see the light of day.  Because of this, I have been posting on a daily basis (well, Monday through Friday) for almost two years now.

While sharing the images is great and I love seeing the reactions to them, it is very easy for a particular image to get lost in that volume.  I’m hoping this image stands out from the rest.

As you may know, I have been working on my long exposure images for well over a year and have featured them on Long Exposure Tuesday.  Most tend towards black and white as that medium works well to highlight contrasts and details in an image without the distractions of color.  While I have enjoyed making the long exposure images, I haven’t felt that I was quite getting them as I wanted.  I was really hoping for cleaner images with strong blacks and bright whites that would stand on their own while helping to elevate a commonly seen landmark in town.

On Saturday, July 27th, the skies conspired to get me out shooting long exposures.  I started off at the middle school but had a few thoughts for Abbot Hall and headed there as the sun started to dip a bit in the sky.  I walked the perimeter of the building slowly – studying angles and options – until I stopped in front of the flagpole on the east side and saw this view.  I watched the clouds long enough to discern their movement would be coming out from behind the iconic building and set to work with my filters.  This image is a 6 minute exposure which helped to blur the clouds and made for beautiful streaks in the sky.

As a great photographer and writer recently shared “the creative process of making an image does not end at the time of capture. In fact, it only starts there. In many senses, time spent processing an image may offer far greater opportunity for creative ideas and personal expression than composing and exposing the image” – Guy Tal


In much the same way, this image began in the field but took shape through careful processing of the sky and building.  I hope the image makes you stop for a moment and see Abbot Hall in a way you haven’t before – if you have, then this image will have accomplished its purpose of standing above the noise and capturing the iconic beauty of a Marblehead landmark