Stories, Musings & The Vision Thing

A Brief Ramble: Capturing Images in a Maine Fishing Village

One of my favorite things is to ramble around and take photos of whatever moments capture my eye.

all photos by Dan Bailes, copyright 2018

I usually have a destination in mind and a vague idea of what I’m looking for when I go out on a ramble, but mostly I just try to keep my eyes open and my mind loose. I find it all very seductive,

and there are always delicious surprises.

We’re spending the summer on an island in Maine (quite romantic). Many of the local men, and some women, fish for lobster and haddock. The town of Stonington harbors scores of fishing boats

and the surrounding waters are dotted with colored buoys marking each lobsterman’s traps. Like many rural areas, when the old things no longer have use, they’re just left abandoned in place.

I love the jumbled sense of time captured in their slow decay. For me, the place is a visual treasure trove.  Around every bend in the twisty roads that traverse the island, I find intriguing images.

There’s also the quiet beauty of the Maine Coast and I’ve certainly taken lots of photos of sky, water, islands and boats.

But just out of sight of coastal Maine’s rugged beauty are the little abandoned and forgotten artifacts that fire my imagination.

For me, they’re like little fragments of sculpture, standing like forlorn sentinels. I like to think of them as memorials to a vanishing way of life.

Once, years ago, I rambled along a woodsy path and happened upon quite a few junked and abandoned cars, some from the 1930s and 40s. I was entranced by the lush undergrowth sprouting through the twisted, rusted metal. So much energy and decay intertwined. I went back with my camera a few years later and all the cars were gone. Sigh.

My latest ramble was not as delicious, but still I found some interesting images.

I spent a while trying to capture the essence of this lobsterman’s shack.  

I liked its pastoral, yet surreal quality

like some steam punk remnant of a lost civilization. Or this image,

that conjures some kind of manic machine, complete with a zig zag of pulleys, gears and conveyor belts.

I thought some images might work better in black and white, and here are two.

It’s funny how the black and white makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It’s just our expectations playing tricks again…

So, getting back to the present, I’ll leave you with one dash of color.

To find this riot of daylily blooms, all I had to do was walk about 20 yards down the road from the lobster shack. See what I mean – everywhere you look here, there’s something that teases the eye.

It’s been quite a while since I wrote a post for The Vision Thing and I’m excited to be writing again. Still, it’s hard to capture the allure that Maine has for me. My eyes see so much more than my camera can record. I’d love to add the sound of distant gulls, the smell of the ocean and a gentle breeze that tingles your skin. But you’ll just have to use your imagination. Still, I hope this piece gives you some sense of what makes Maine so inviting.

If you liked this post, please leave a comment and let me know.


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  1. megan

    Dan – what a delight you are. Your words and images made my day. Whether it is through words or film or photos, your artistry shines through.

    Love to you,

  2. Dan,
    Thanks for sharing! You captured some lovely gems.
    I spent a week on a Maine Island years ago and was enchanted, but not so poetic as you!
    Please give my best to Sharon and I hope she is enjoying also.
    Ca is great! LA a very strange beast with bad air! 😭
    BUT four very wonderful granddaughters that bring a lot of love. 😍
    202 413 8971

  3. Dan
    Beautiful! You have a sensitive soul. Indeed you should begin adding those sounds and smells. Can’t wait to see what’s next. Thanks.

  4. Jen

    So inspiring and also comforting to see your eye hasn’t changed. I love your work. Thank you for teaching me ways to see and to appreciate the accretions of time and some of the interactions of humans and the natural landscape, and the evocative beauty and presence all around us. Color, line, shape, emotion — compelling aspects of composition. Love it and love you, too, Dad!! ❤️

  5. Jackie Rubin

    What a beautiful testament to both Maine and your soul. The beauty shines through in every picture and word you print, Dan. I miss hearing your voice. Much love to you and Sharon. 😘

  6. matt williamson

    Thanks for sharing your ramble, Dan. Nice relaxed pace; I believe you have fully decompressed. Hasta mañana—you can capture my slowly diminishing woodpile!

  7. frank kraat

    Dan, brought back too many happy memeries. Thanks

  8. Dan, nice to see you return.

  9. Meg Maguire

    These are beautiful — serene but evocative. Just the tonic we need for the chaos and horror — but also the miraculous energy and brilliance — that is America right now.


  10. Marlene Snyder

    Love this post! Looks like you all have had a fabulous summer. Call when you get back.

  11. Linda Hansen

    You have not lost your touch, Dan. The colors are so sharp, the visions so true. Thanks for sharing this ME journey.

  12. missy mial

    What a joy to see your beautiful photographs again, Dan. And your writing so eloquently captures the essence of this place we love so much. Thank you!

  13. Lovely photos and words Dan, they lifted my spirit… I can almost feel the breeze and hear the sounds… Thank you! Hasta, VQ

  14. I love this, Dan! I’m in Venice right now, and I love the contrasts between different parts of the world.

    Jo, Hampshire UK
    Creating My Odyssey – Liberating the Real Me After Thirty Years Of Depression and Anxiety

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