Sometimes we have to see through someone elses eyes to newly appreciate the world at hand. Our workaday lives can dull our appreciation for the rich visual palette the Shore has to offer: the omnipresent Bay; the web of tributaries twisting through panoramas of forest and field; its vast array of marine, field and forest wildlife.
Good photographic images reintroduce us to the world around us. They are both a re-visiting and a discovery, and leave us wanting to explore with a refreshed curiosity. Wilson Wyatt’s collection of Eastern Shore photographs, “Chesapeake Views—Catching the Light” are an invitation to rediscover the Eastern Shore, and sometimes discover facets of it for the first time.
‘I started to see things I hadn’t paid attention to. One day, I took a shot of some grasses along a ditch by the side of the road on an unspectacular summer day. It’s one of my favorite images. So…when we stop to look, our creative eye takes over,” Wyatt says.
While there are many wonderful wildlife photos, from soaring osprey to graceful mute swans, fawns silhouetted by orange dawns, along with a gallery of exquisite macro-images of butterflies in a section Wyatt calls “All the Little Live Things,” the spirit of the book glows within its selection of purely Eastern Shore motifs—fog-shrouded waterman tonging for oysters, fiery sunrises spilling gold across still rivers, a sailboat limned by the setting sun or a heron poised like a sentinel on the bow of a fishing boat.
Each image has a caption—some with technical advice for fellow photogs—poetically describing the image. The distinct captions become a helpful narrative for the reader. It’s a bit like walking through an art exhibition with a friendly and articulate tour guide.
A book in six sections, “Chesapeake Views”has a lot going for it. Its high production standards and large format (it’s 9 x 11.5″ horizontal) —almost two feet across when opened—offer enough images for several sittings. Thematically diverse, the book captures the core beauty of our region and closes nicely with images of St. Michaels (after all, the photographer/writer lives there) in a section titled ‘Where We Live.” It anchors the collection geographically. For those of us who live on the Shore, the vibrant street scenes, harbor and lighthouse at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are fun to see again. For those unfamiliar with our area, they beckon.
“Chesapeake Views—Catching the Light” may be found at the News Center in Easton.
Wilson Wyatt Jr., Executive Editor and a founder of the review, writes fiction and nonfiction. Following an early career as a journalist at The Courier-Journal, in Kentucky, he was the senior corporate communications officer at several corporations. As a photographer, he is the author of Chesapeake Views-Catching the Light (2013) and YOSEMITE – Catching the Light (2011). He is active with The Writer’s Center, in Bethesda, and the Delmarva Peninsula writing community. For more information go here.