In her new photo book, “Kent Island Waterscapes,” Dale Hall considers the ever-changing beauty of the Chesapeake Bay’s largest island.
“There’s so much happening here,” Hall said. “Between the sunsets, nautical imagery, work boats, charter boats, birds migrating in and out and the change in seasons, you have such different pictures.”
Hall grew up in Linstead on the Severn and became interested in photography when she started reading Life magazine as a teenager.
“I guess I had that creative mind,” Hall said. “I appreciated the work.”
Hall attended the New England School of Photography from 1976-1978. Although she originally wanted to become a fashion photographer, she returned home to Maryland from Boston.
“I wanted to be home with my friends and family,” Hall said.
She worked at camera stores, including Severna Park Photo, and did some freelance work, including portraits and real estate photos. She also worked for a wedding photographer.
Following six years working at Forensic Technologies International’s photo lab, Hall got married and had a son. While raising him as a stay-at-home mom, she started doing covers for Chesapeake Family magazine. She loved it so much that she started a business doing environmental portraits of people and pets on Kent Island beaches.
Hall’s pivot to nature photography started when she moved near Price Creek.
“I was so enthralled with all that I saw at my back door,” Hall said. “I stopped doing portraits and got immersed in the nature around me.”
The ever-changing conditions involved in nature photography means that most of the pictures that Hall takes come from being in the right place at the right time.
“I’m just always shooting,” Hall said.
When Hall went to a 2017 book signing at the Kent Island Federation of the Arts for the photo essay book “Natural Wonders of Assateague Island” by Mark Henrick, a thought hit her.
“I realized that I had a good amount to do a comprehensive photojournalistic book about Kent Island,” Hall said.
Hall used Hendrick’s publisher, Schiffer Publishing, which employed a unique tactic for soliciting new authors: bookmarks that read, in part, “If you have a fresh idea, we would love to hear from you, as we are continually seeking new authors and their ideas.”
“I sent my idea to them, and they liked it,” Hall said.
Although Hall felt that she had enough of a back catalog for a book, she also used pictures that she took after her book contract was signed.
These photos included shots of the stuck Ever Forward container ship, the inaugural fleet blessing at Kentmorr Marina and the charter boat Marylander, racing a storm. She also got shots of a sunset while having dinner on opening night for Libby’s Coastal Kitchen + Cocktails.
The large coffee table book contains almost 200 photos taken around Kent Island, themed and organized around the different seasons.
“I believe that it covers everything, and the seasons are very vivid here,” Hall said. “I was taking pictures every season, so I had a good amount for every season, and I felt like it pulled it together really well.”
Hall had a strategy of how she organized the photos that she used within each section.
“I tried to get two pictures that complemented one another and made it pleasing to go from one page to another when you had it open,” Hall said. “I wanted the colors to coordinate. I wanted it to work well together.”
Each section includes an introductory page with a few paragraphs describing the season.
The forward for the book was written by Jack Broderick, president of the Kent Island Heritage Society. He also attended the book launch event.
Outside of the United States, Hall’s book is sold in bookstores in Paris, England and parts of Asia.
“It’s very strange that my book on Kent Island would be ordered by these bookstores overseas,” Hall said.
“Kent Island Waterscapes” is $34.99 and is available at Park Books in Severna Park, along with major book retailers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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