The web is a wonderful thing. Ok, that’s stating the obvious, but it allows us to quickly and easily expand our world. I don’t mean by reading the news, or checking in with Facebook, but through a more personal perspective. There are several photographers who I check in with on a daily basis to get a glimpse of Boston, Austin, New York, Calgary, Phoenix, Philly, Berlin, Caracas, etc. By the time I leave for work, this crew of photographers has taken me on a trip around the world. It also helps that their images are compelling and their stories are enlightening. I decided to invite my these photographers to participate in the ‘Out My Front Door’ project. The goal of the project is to encourage others to grab their camera on a weekend, and not wait until the next trip, to go out and make some images to share with the world. You can read more about the project on the About Me page.
First up in this project is Bob Lussier. I have been following his work for over a year now, and everyday I visit his site I am looking forward to the next. I was pretty excited when he agreed to join the project. Also, if you are Sox fan you might want to order one these for your house. Without further ado, here is something from out Bob’s front door.
About Bob Lussier:
Bob Lussier lives and works in the Boston area with his wife, Jean and their three sons. He spends much of his free time photographing the mills along the Merrimack river and other 18th century buildings. When he’s not skulking around the mills you can find him training for marathons and photographing pretty much anything else that strikes his fancy.
First of all, I want to thank Justin for inviting me to provide some background on my recent series, “Off Season,” shot at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. I’m a big fan of his work, so its a special treat for me to share my work with him and his readers.
Let me start by saying, I hate the beach. I hate sitting in the sweltering sun, watching my pasty white skin turn fire engine red even with SPF 5000 sunblock (yes. it’s that bad). I hate the seagulls that hover within striking distance of any dropped morsel of food. On top of that, I hate the crowds.
But I also love the beach. I love the fact that you can see the horizon so clearly. There is nothing like sea meeting sky. I love the change in tides and shifting sands. I love the fresh lobster and fried clams at Browns Restaurant (bring your own beer!). I also enjoy people watching on Hampton Beach’s strip.
Its a vibrant place in the summer. Neon signs flicker along the strip, the smell of sausage, pizza, fried dough (like funnel cake, for those of you not from around here) fills the air and an endless conga-line of cars clogs the streets.
But when the season ends, so does the fun. Hampton Beach, essentially, becomes a ghost town. Sure, there are some year-round residents. A few convenience stores remain open, but “Closed for the Season” signs greatly outnumber “Vacancy” signs at the Hampton Beach Motels.
There is beauty in the stark emptiness of the boardwalk and beach. “Off Season” is my attempt to capture that beauty. With the absence of people and cars I was able to put the focus on the area’s features themselves.
I’ve always loved the way the water slide at Hampton was shoe-horned into a small plot of land between a couple of buildings. With no children eagerly awaiting their turn down the slide or parked cars lining the street, the slide stands alone, looking like a serpent above the strip.
The symmetry of the front of the Casino entrance and, the emptiness of the beach itself are also better appreciated in the off season.
In shooting the series, I considered the weather as well. New England in the late fall and winter can be cold. I wanted to convey that. Since my D700′s sensor doesn’t record and display the temperature, I decided to shoot only on overcast days.
I also processed the images to accentuate the mood I wanted to convey. All are HDR, using Photomatix Pro with some additional work in OnOne Software’s PhotoTools.
I hope you like the series and the story behind it.
When Justin reached out to me, he thanked me for showing him another part of the country. It was something that I didn’t consider when I started the series. But I love the idea.
My parting advice is for you to do the same. Shoot where you live. Share your corner of the world with the rest of us. But shoot it differently. Make it your own.