At first glance, this Sunset Print Award winner is abstract art, but for Linda Dahlberg, owner of Creative Cards by Linda in Newburyport, Mass., it’s far more than that and atypical of her New England landscape and seascape photography.
Dahlberg won the award for Best Print in Show – as well as a Sunset gift certificate, trophy and pin – at the recent Fine Art of Photography competition in Plymouth, Mass., for her print entitled Lowell’s Boat Shop Workroom Door, which is exactly what it is. Lowell’s Boat Shop, according to Dahlberg, is the oldest continually-running boat shop in the U.S., and is on the Merrimack River in Amesbury, Mass.
“The building is so very special and it’s so neat to know that men and women are still making wooden boats. I’m attracted to the place because it’s all wood,” says Dahlberg. “The paint on that door is what the guys must do when they’re done painting to clean up their brushes. I’m not an abstract photographer; I’m a landscape photographer, but I recognize that younger people really like this. I have four granddaughters in high school who were wowed by it, and they’re not usually wowed by the things I do. I was tickled about that. I’m looking forward to telling them that their tastes paid off.”
Dahlberg adds that the picture was taken with very little daylight without a flash, but with just enough light to accurately render all the colors and texture of the door. The orange door handle provides additional contrast, and Dahlberg says it was an element that caught her attention and helped inspire her to take the shot.
Known locally as “the lady with the camera,” Dahlberg says her transition to photography from first being a nurse and then an inn keeper came from showing people the best places in the area to take pictures. “Since I know where all the great spots are, why shouldn’t I be the one photographing them?”