Motif Number 1, Rockport Massachusettes_Pam-Goodyer

Rockport Massachusetts  Photography Hot Spot Location

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Massachusetts, Rockport Pam Goodyer Photography Magazine Extra

Rockport inner harbor showing Motif #1

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Rockport inner harbor boat docks.

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Castle Manor Inn – Best Place to Stay when in Rockport.

See details below. Don’t stay anywhere else!

Rockport is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 6,952 at the 2010 census. Rockport is located approximately 40 miles northeast of Boston at the tip of the Cape Ann peninsula. It is directly east of Gloucester and is surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean.

Today Rockport is primarily a suburban residential and tourist town, but it is still home to many lobster fishers and artists. Its rocky beaches and seaside parks are a favorite place for visitors from the Greater Boston Area and Rhode Island among other locations.

There are excellent restaurants, shops, and beaches if you want more than just photography. You can rent kayaks and bikes. There are river cruises to take and beaches to visit, but the most recognizable spot is our Image above, Motif #1. A strange name but that is what it is called.  It does make for a great photography spot. Try to do something different such as our image above. It is one of the most photographed places in this state so bring a ND filter and get some moving waters or maybe a different angle from a boat might work. Be creative here. Don’t just come home with the same straight on shot every other tourist in the world comes back with.  It has brilliant colors so shoot it in the sun to make them burst. It can be moody here so do some night photography, and if you get lucky, you might get a misty morning.

There is a lot to do besides photography but enough to keep you photographing for a day or more.  There are a few things nearby to photograph. We were on our way out of the area, and we will be going back to explore more to show you the complete area.

Hammond Castle is nearby. Hammond Castle is located on the Atlantic coast in the Magnolia area of Gloucester, Massachusetts and offers some great indoor photography opportunities. It is a backup plan for a cloudy or rainy day.

The Ocean Alliance Building is a great spot to shoot and along the way you will find fishing docks and some quaint little town photography.

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Ocean Alliance  is nearby to Rockport and a great photo hot spot in itself.

Rockport Mass Hammond Castle

Nearby Hammond Castle is a great spot to get some interior and exterior photos. It is a good place to keep in mind for a rainy day.

Hammond Castle Rockport Mass
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Photography Information

Lens: This area is a wide angle lens location.

Gear:  To get started doing your photography bring your tripod and your circular polarizing filters. The CPL will make your puffy white clouds burst and deepen the blue sky color around them.  It will also take the glare off the water and replace it with the reflection. Bring your tripod too.  If there is not enough light when you are shooting, you will want to use it to get the depth of field, (higher F-stop). Don’t forget your ND filter in case of you want to shoot moving waters.

Gear List at a Glance: Circular polarizing filter, neutral density filter, tripod, shutter release, wide angle and zoom lens.

When to Go: Weekdays, when it is slightly off season, is best. This location is a tourist town so be prepared for people. Keep in mind this is also a milky way dark sky area so you might want to plan your trip around a new moon.

Camera Settings

Aperture Priority – It is used to get your depth of field (control how much is in focus from your subject back). If your shutter speed drops to 1/30th of a second, it is because you lack light and you will need to put your camera on a tripod to avoid blurry pictures. Anything handheld below 1/30th of a second will be blurry. The higher the “f” in number, the less light that will into the camera and your shutter speed will drop to let more light in. When your “f” number goes up, your aperture closes. At f-22 you are barely letting any light in.  Always watch your shutter speed.  When taking your shot look at the bottom of the screen through the viewfinder and check your shutter speed. Do not to let your shutter speed go too low when hand holding.  Sometimes you cannot get a super high f stop because you do not have enough light. This will happen quite often at times such as sunset. Again, put your camera on a tripod and now your photos will not blur except for any subject that is moving in the image.

You might want the opposite effect. That is when your subject is in complete focus, and the background is totally blurred called the bokeh effect. You will use your lowest F-number such as 2.8, or 3.5. Go as small as your particular lens will allow.  Shooting in Aperture Priority allows you to control this.

Shutter Priority – If you have moving subjects such as the birds flying or boats moving you will want to shoot in shutter priority to be sure they come out clear. When boats are slowly going by shoot at 1/250th of a second and adjust your ISO accordingly. If they are moving very fast increase your shutter speed to about 1/500th of a second. If it’s a bright sunny day go as high as 1/1000th to 1/1200th of a second to get the birds crystal clear as they fly by.

Manual Mode – You have moving waters here. You can do your long exposure running, milky water shots like our picture above.  You will have to use a tripod for this effect.  All of your settings will vary depending on the lighting and what neutral density filter you have. You will shoot in manual mode for the milky waters. ISO is always 100 or as low as your camera will allow. Aperture is f22. Your shutter speed will vary depending on the light. Take some test shots to decide on your shutter speed after you put your neutral density filter on. (It’s like sunglasses for your camera to stop light from coming in). Use your live view mode to focus to lock the mirror up and avoid any camera movement. Use your shutter release or your 2-second timer to also prevent camera movement. Voila. You now have your milky water exposure. You will want at least a 2-second exposure for water. If you don’t have a neutral density filter, you may not get more than 1/15th of a second in the sun. That does not give you a good effect. Go to our store to buy your ND filter. I have a 3.0 for super long exposure in the sunshine.

Read more on our Photography Techniques Page.  You can go to our waterfall photography section to learn how to shoot any moving waters.  You can also go to our Basic Photography section if you need a more detailed explanation of shutter speed or aperture priority modes.

If you don’t have a neutral density filter, you can buy one here. We highly suggest you do not go anywhere without one. It makes all the difference between lifeless images and outstanding, dynamic images.

Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

Hotel Information:

Castle Manor Inn.

The Castle Manor Inn, 141 Essex Ave, Gloucester, Mass.

We wouldn’t stay anywhere else. We absolutely love this place. The breakfast spread had healthy options which we loved. Tell them Photography Magazine Extra sent you. The staff was amazing, the atmosphere perfect and the price was just right.  Book your stay now by clicking here.

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 Restaurants:

Castle Manor Inn Restaurant Hours

Wed-Sat > dinner > 5p – 9p
Sat-Sun > breakfast à la carte > 8a – 12p
Sun > dinner > 4p – 7p

The Castle Manor Inn, 141 Essex Ave, Gloucester, Mass.
Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

Park and Area Information:

Entrance Fees: 

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Camping:

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