This is my favorite photograph from this year. Entitled “Hope”, it’s an image of the Maine Lobsterman statue in Portland on the morning of March 28. I spent many early spring mornings this year photographing the emptiness of Portland and the visual evidence of the pandemic.
I was not the only one who had the idea to photograph the statue that morning. I waited a few minutes and the photographer moved on down the street. A few days later I drove by the statue and the mask was gone. I like to think someone took it because they needed a mask.
The sunlight was behind me lighting the statue and the background so I began by photographing the statue with the closed Nickelodeon Cinema empty marquees juxtaposed behind the masked statue.
As the sun would dive partly behind the clouds the sunlight would light the statue from the side which made the background fall into shadow.
I felt like I had a variety of nice images and was ready to see what else I could see that morning. As I was about to head back to my car I caught out of the corner of my eye the beam of light peeking over the empty office buildings. I found that if I positioned myself just right I could get the sunlight to bounce off the top of the statue’s head which created a cool star effect. Because I was shooting back into the sun the image had great natural contrast. The dark buildings in shadow provided a nice clean background without many visual distractions.
Masks would show up on other well known Portland area statues.