• Motif 1 Rockland Mass by world renowned photographer Pamela Goodyer

Rockport Massachusetts

Photography Hot Spot Location

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Rockport Massachusetts Photography Hot Spot Location

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 an 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 tremendous 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.

Motif Number 1, located on Ocean City Allicance in the harbor town of Rockport, Massachusetts

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

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.

Castle Manor Inn,

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

See details below. Don’t stay anywhere else!

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Photography Information – Rockport Massachusetts

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 if 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 offseason, is best. This 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 or the week before during milky way week.

Camera Settings

Aperture Priority

It is generally used to control the depth of field (control how much is in focus from your subject back). If your shutter speed drops to 1/30th sec. or lower because you lack light, you will need to put your camera on a tripod to avoid blurry pictures. Anything handheld below 1/30 sec will be blurry. The higher the “f” number, the less light that will come in, 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 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 a sunset. Again, put your camera on a tripod, and now your photos will not blur except for any subject moving in the image.

You might want the opposite effect. That is when your subject is in complete focus, and the background is 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 people moving, you will want to shoot in shutter priority to be sure your images come out sharp. When people are moving slowly, shoot at 1/250th sec, and adjust your ISO accordingly. If they are moving very fast, increase your shutter speed to about 1/1000th sec. If it’s a bright sunny day, go as high as 1/1200 second for very fast-moving subjects.

Manual Mode

If you have moving waters here, you can do your long exposure running, milky water shots.  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 shutter release or your 2-second timer also to prevent camera movement. Voila. You now have your milky water exposure. You will want at least a 5-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. We like a 3.0 for super long exposure in the daytime, and we have a ten stop filter for bright sunny days.

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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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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