Harbors are hard to photograph well. Most are loaded with man-made clutter, making it difficult to find and isolate compelling subjects. As a rule, I skip shooting harbors unless the weather forecast calls for intriguing conditions.
Sea fog is one of those intriguing conditions. It hides much of the clutter and adds a touch of mystery to the scene. But fog can also be a touchy element. Too much fog and the subject loses appeal. Too little fog, and the impact is lost.
This image was made on a January morn at Cape Porpoise, Maine. I stood on the wooden pier in sub-zero degree temperatures, waiting for sunrise with my camera and tripod at the ready. The tide constantly shifted the position and angle of the anchored fishing boats, ruling out the possibility of long exposures.
I settled on a triad of fishing boats swaying in the surf, shaped into an abstract triangle. I waited for the tide to point the three bows in my direction, leveraging the tree on Curtis Island to draw the eye toward the background. The red fishing boat on the right brings color contrast to an otherwise monochromatic image.
The harbor is accessible from the end of Pier Road in Cape Porpoise. A few parking spaces are available across the road from the Pier 77 Restaurant. Exercise extreme caution when walking on the wooden pier in winter. The surface is often covered with thin ice, and there are no guardrails on one side of the pier.