Fine Art Black and White Photography From The New England Coast by Nate Parker

Old Scow © Nate Parker

Old Scow © Nate Parker

Nate Parker is nature and landscape photographer based in Maine. The photographer became obsessed with making visually stunning imagery exploring the opportunities trough black-and-white long exposures and tilt-shift thrown in for good measure.  Each one of his sublime and dramatic seascapes evokes the synergy between three elements earth, water and air.

We are glad that we had the privilege to interview Nate, so we invite you to check the interview and the fantastic set of plack and white pictures below.

Tell us about something about Nate Parker Photography?

Well thanks so much Photography Office for featuring my work here amongst some very fine artists, I'm honored to be included. I usually don't like to talk too much about myself and would rather defer out of humility by I understand the importance of speaking for my work and flying my own flag occasionally and I've worked very hard over the last 12 years or so trying to realize my goals in making imagery that I like, so with that in mind: Hi, my name is Nate, I live in Maine and I like to make pictures!

Initially I took to photography after moving to Maine right near Acadia National Park which has a myriad of photogenic locations and weather and always has something interesting to offer- from mountains to meadows to jagged rocky coastline. I remember wanting a creative outlet to pursue after I regained my energy from working my day job.

My family always shot lots of pictures and slide projector night with the big pop up screen was an important event, I still remember how that screen smelled when you unrolled it to clip it to the top of the post. There would be the pictures of vacations and sunsets and boats and kids on the beach etc, and living in Acadia I was seeing phenomenal gift scenes that were begging to be photographed. I'd be remiss here to not to mention that a big influence on my sense of vision was my Mom who is a talented trained watercolor artist who used to actually hand-paint gift boxes for the Cannon Mills company in New York City in the 1940's and early 50's. My mom taught me to look and see and view the world with a sense of composition in mind, all which I readily disregarded at the time because

I wanted to be a jet Air Force pilot! So years later when I had reason to look critically at the world through the view finder I can often remember Ma's lessons in my mind.

Can you make a brief description on the pictures in this set?

So, the images I have been trying to make recently have a less is more approach that is often achieved through the long exposure with the occasional tilt-shift thrown in. I've found that the black glass helps me to strip away some of the clutter and randomness that is so predominant in my corner of the world. Maine is a jumble of boulders heaped upon granite shoved back into endless seas of soft wood, and trying to distinguish a cohesive shape or subject in that is a most challenging endeavor. But even if I don't find a good image, just having the experience of trying to find it is most often worth the effort- pants soaked up to the hips in Atlantic waves or not.

Can you name some great photographer that inspires you and why?

As far as inspiration, motivation, and visceral rewards go- being a part of the Google Plus community is a photographers dream in a way, or fantasy in another! But there is so much great work that is being shared out there and so many benevolent sharing photographers who will openly share workflow tips, printing tips, or just about anything that is polite to imagine, then if you can't find inspiration there: you're misaligned!

People like Joel TjintjelaarHengki Koentjoro, Nathan Wirth, and Olivier Du Tre are some of the most amazing black and white artists whose work I've ever viewed but as well I'm glad to think of them as my friends in that community.

What are some tips you could give to people that really like your work?

Regarding something of a tip I would care to share with your readers it would be to take your time developing the image. I think a great tip is to finish your development then sleep on it and have a look the next day with fresh eyes- so many times in the fresh visual sobriety of a new day I realize that my vision was off and a little tweaking of contrasts or curves or something would have been missed if I hadn't taken the break. And in the vein of taking your time, check your work carefully!

Nothing kills a beautiful image more that a perfectly flat horizon that is tilted just a little bit, or a nasty sneeze worth of sensor dust distracting an otherwise fantastic sky. It's attention to detail that separates average work from outstanding art, and it reflects on your professionalism and business acumen. As far as I'm concerned as a photographer you can walk around with an unshaved visage, holes in your pants, and shoes untied, (not really just making a metaphor) but you'd better have a fine print! Maybe that's why I have velcro on my sneakers, no I don't, I wear slip on wellies!


Dear Nate Parker, thank you for accepting the challenge for an interview on our magazine. We would like to wish you good luck in exploring the challenges and opportunities of black-and-white photography.