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slides: James Clayton Sattel’s RI Views: Estuaries + Coves

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Photographer James Clayton Sattel is passionate about Rhode Island, particularly those shores, crags, and vistas of his home island: Aquidneck.

This week, Jim explores Rhode Island's shorelines to photograph its marshes and coves, full of late fall and early winter colors. "The days grow short, the brown leaves drop off the trees, the period of morning and afternoon low-angled shadows last most of the day," he says.

Further, the days tend to begin with clear and calm weather: "so calm there are no waves to photograph. Because there is less camouflage, the wildlife pop with more expression." Shore birds, for example, he says, make their last hurrah's before heading south.

"Simply said, all of the above conditions can provide excellent lighting, with great contrast, and golds and reds that pop, texture of water (smooth as glass). The less attractive brown and rust yellow leaves have fallen off the trees, leaving clear exposure to the stronger reds and maples, chestnuts, oaks, and the greenery of pine. What is surprising to me, these conditions fall into place mid-November...thus creating briliant fall colours later than our Northern, and eastward New England cousins!"

To see more of or purchase Sattel's distinctive views, go here.

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This Portsmouth view brings to life all that I love about Rhode Island's estuaries and coves--namely, the vibrant colors of plant life against the slim bands of watery blues. A perfect palette!

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Mt. Hope Farm Cove

This cove at Mt. Hope Farm in Bristol provides the sharper lines of coves, with colorful fall trees rising from the sharp and curving shorelines.

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Blue Bell Cove

This lesser-known cove in Portsmouth shows how the impact of "civilization" can still harmonize with the natural landscape.

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Salt Pond

It doesn't have to be in the wilds of Rhode Island to be beautiful! This Barrington salt pond is every bit as romantic a vision as those in South County.

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Mill Pond

Meanwhile, in nearby Bristol, this fellow enjoys the color of the shoreline as he paddles by on Mill Pond.

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Smith's Castle

This unusual view is from Smith's Castle in Wickford. It's a colonial era homestead that hosted Roger Williams in the 17th century... I wonder what he thought of this view?

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Hidden waters

Quick, where is this? You may not guess Newport, as this looks like a northern pond, almost. But this is a quiet scene just to the north of Second Beach.

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In flight

This kind of shoreline is heaven for birds, including this gorgeous visitor to Gooseberry Cove, in Newport.

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The reds and oranges that saturate estuaries like this area of Tiverton are such gifts for the photographer, but also for the kayaker and wanderer along the shoreline.

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Colt State Park

An even more complex palette of colors is on display at Colt State Park in Bristol, where a far bank of autumn-blazed trees are muted by local mist.


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