A collection of images depicting the beauty of the New England coastline by Rhode Island photographer Cate Brown.
By Heather Marcus
Jun 28 2018
Beavertail Waves AerialPhoto Credit : Cate Brown
I’ve been calling southern Rhode Island home my whole life, except for a few years at college in central Massachusetts. My connection to New England really resides in my love for Narragansett Bay. When I was younger, the summer months meant junior sailing, in the spring it was high school sailing, and in the fall we could still get a few good days on the water as a family. When I got older, I could go to the beach whenever I wanted, even in the middle of winter.
There’s something about this region I can’t help but love. We have an amazing bay and access to the mountains just to the north, the city isn’t too far away, the summers are wonderful, and winters aren’t intolerably cold (usually).
My mom showed me how to load film in her Canon AE-1 when I was about 13, and I was hooked. After college I started to bring my love of sailing into my work by building a nautical portfolio. What I shoot has changed a bit over the years, but I have found photographing a combination of marine sports and fine-art seascapes does not divide my attention. Rather, both help reinforce my view of the world and allow creative exploration by bringing techniques from one genre into the other.
Film will always have a place in my heart, but my go-to gear for seascapes is a Nikon D750 and D850 with a B+W #110 neutral density filter. I have a 3DR Solo drone to photograph my aerial seascapes. I love shooting with prime lenses like the 50mm, but on the water I’m often using my 70-200mm telephoto lens. For getting in the water I have a Liquideye housing.
I am inspired first and foremost by the ocean. It’s big and vast and majestic, yet can still feel so intimate and comforting at times.
There are a number of photographers whose work I greatly admire. I came across Joni Sternbach’s “Surfland” series early on, incorporating a century-old analog technique with portraits of modern surfers. Other favorites are Hengki Koentjoro, Kohjiro Kinno, Philip Thurston, plus a number of Australians, including Ray Collins, Ming Nomchong, Lloyd Meudell, Ted Grambeau, and Trent Mitchell. They all have inspirational bodies of work in seascapes, ocean art, and abstracts.
But no matter where my work has taken me, I can always find solace walking the sandy shores of home with my camera. Through my work, I hope others can also fall in love with the unique beauty and intrigue of a place defined by both land and sea.
To see more of Cate Brown’s work, go to catebrownphoto.com.