Every morning since January 11, 2011 that I wake up at home, I’ve made a photograph from our deck looking out over Shipyard Park into Mattapoisett Harbor and beyond into Buzzards Bay and the distant shores of Falmouth on Cape Cod. There is no exact time that I do this. I do not intentionally attempt to capture the sunrise but sometimes I do. I make my best effort possible to capture the scene within an hour of the sun heading over the proverbial yardarm which for landlubbers translates to around 11 AM. Unlike some of my other photography projects, this one is ongoing and, frankly, I hope to continue until the day I die.
I’ve been a photographer for almost as long as I can remember. My dad was a photographer and he gave me my first camera, a Yashica Electro 35 rangefinder, when I was about 8 years old. Since then I’ve shot with a Pentax K1000, Canon A1, Nikon F100 and D200 and now a Sony mirrorless A6000. But it’s really not at all about the equipment. Dorothea Lange said it best:
A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.
I love stepping out onto the deck each morning, breathing in the fresh sea air, listening to the seagulls call to each other while circling the harbor, hearing the occasional lobster boat leave town wharf heading out for a day’s work. I look out and imagine what it was like 200 years ago when Mattapoisett was a bustling harbor with 6 shipyards lining her shores and I think of all of the sailing ships that were launched here and all the hardy souls aboard who took to sea to make a living with many never returning.
We are all creatures of habit and this has become my creative daily routine. The act of shooting the same subject every morning makes me a better photographer and I love sharing these images on social media and hearing from people all over the world about what they mean to them. My daily routine seems to have snuck into the lives of a few others.
There were 101 copies of the first volume (2015) of Good Morning, Shipyard Park! exactly different, every day and the entire inventory sold out within a week. Volume 2 (2016) is a signed edition of 200. I will continue to capture Shipyard Park every morning and I may use some of the images in this book for other projects but I will not reprint this book. For every book sold, I am donating $5 to the Mattapoisett Historical Society to support the expenses of the great community dinner event they jointly organized in 2015 with the Mattapoisett Land Trust. These are both great nonprofit organizations that preserve, protect and celebrate what’s special about Mattapoisett.
A couple of years ago my friend Timothy Walker posted the below clip onto my Facebook page. I had seen Smoke when it came out in 1995 but had forgotten about it. I can’t tell you how much I love this because Harvey Keitel’s character, Augie, captures the spirit of my project better than I ever could. Please watch.
Pick up your limited edition copy of Good Morning, Shipyard Park! and limited edition mini “season” print at:
or order here.