Maryland’s Eastern Shore A Photographic Portrait - 128 pages, $24.95, Twin Lights Publishers Inc., Rockport, Mass., and Yourtown Books, Naples, Fla.
What apparently began as a local photography contest has ended with this volume of 55 photographs, depicting scenes from Maryland’s nine Eastern Shore counties. Three judges (the book identifies no editor), namely photographers David Bishop and David Stevens, and artist James Plumb, selected images of farmers and watermen, wildlife and landscapes to create a profound sense of place. Sunsets glow across rivers and creeks, farmers work an old steam thresher, blue herons stand sentinel in the quiet of an afternoon. Also included are the working landmarks of Shore communities: the old lime plant at Crisfield, for example, the Chestertown harbor, the Talbot County Courthouse. Not all the photographs were part of the contest; some were donated by area photographers to round out the collection, like David Stevens’s sterling black-and-white shots of the working skipjack fleet and pilot Hunter Harris’s aerial photographs. And while there is some variation in overall quality (some shots were over enlarged, for example), one attributes this to the book’s primary focus as a paean to the Eastern Shore rather than an absolute test of photographic prowess.