A Fraternity of Photographers

A passion for on-water photography

After a conversation our editor had with David Sites at the boat show about how regional photographers help one another and enjoy each others' company, we reached out to a few of them to learn more:

photographer on a boat
David Sites with his new camera. Photo by Mark Hergan

SpinSheet photographer Will Keyworth had been watching David Sites’s Facebook posts. He says, “I decided I had to meet this guy with a great photography eye and a passion for Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. I knew what his boat looked like so went to Thomas Point Light a few evenings in a row and waited for a grey Tidewater Center Console to show up with some guy and a camera to arrive… Sure enough there was the boat and a lone occupant circling around but no camera, just shooting with his cell phone. I watched him work the light and the angles for his shots with thought and precision, not just a snapshot but a careful composition. I finally got the nerve to pull alongside and introduce myself and was blown away by the fact that all of this beautiful photography was created on his (iPhone).”

Keyworth says, “That first meeting had led to a friendship based on our mutual love of photography and all things Chesapeake. We have recently discussed his moving from cell images to getting a digital 35mm camera to allow him to take his skills to a more viable format for publication purposes. We have had many of these short chats and with some guidance from another good friend/ photographer, Mark Hergan, David has moved to that step.”

photographer on a boat
Mark Hergan of Deadrise Marine Photography in action. Photo by Steve Eller

Keyworth met Baltimore-based Mark Hergan (Deadrise Marine Photography) as each were shooting photos at the windward mark on the Penguin racecourse in Oxford, MD. They struck up a conversation about how lucky they were to be out on the water. Hergan reminded him that they had raced together many years before when he was a student on the offshore sailing team at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Keyworth had skippered the college’s boat.

All of these photographers admire and respect each others’ work. Keyworth says, “All three of us use different equipment, have different styles, and produce distinctive images. All three of us have said to ourselves, ‘Damn, I wish I had shot that amazing image.’”

All three mentioned being inspired by and helping one another. Hergan and Keyworth plan to help Sites learn the settings on his new camera. Hergan will help Keyworth get up to speed on Lightroom editing.

Keyworth notes, “I’d say we are more like a fraternity of friends than independent operators. What’s not to love about the Chesapeake Bay and a camera?”

Meanwhile, on the Eastern Shore...

log canoe sailing
Log canoe sailing. Photo by John Rock/Tidewater Images

Eastern Shore photographer John Rock of Tidewater Images, who has photographed sailing regattas for the past two years, shares his own connection story:

“I have had the occasion to have had Marc Castelli on the boat with me several times… Marc has been sailing and photographing Chesapeake Bay log canoes for 25 years… What I learned from Marc was how the action was going to unfold from his years of experience sailing on log canoes. He would point out boats at the start and explain their tactics and where to be to capture the best photos. We would discuss what side of the start line to be on based on lighting, background, and expected boat action. He taught me how much attention he paid to the subtle changes in clouds, especially in rainy and cloudy conditions. I was complimented on my boat andling skills to position us in just the right spots around the course to be able to get spectacular pictures of the action, people, and boats.”

Stay tuned for more Chesapeake photographer connection stories. If you have one to share, email our editor.