Photographer Ed Kenney’s exhibit, featuring images from his new book “The Winter Coast of Maine” and his extensive travels, is on display at Boothbay Region Art Foundation (BRAF). The show is in the upstairs Harbor View Room until July 26.
Kenney’s passion for photography was ignited by the gift of a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye when he was 9. He kept a camera in his briefcase on business trips and, after he retired, fully devoted himself to the craft.
The New England native was inspired to do the book on Maine’s winters because few visitors get to experience them. Winter is also a photographically unique time of year. “I think winter is the best season to do photography. In winter, you really see the land, the leaves are gone, and there are shapes and forms and colors that are not as vibrant as they are during the other seasons.”
Kenney compiled 15 years of images for the collection. The book will be released later this summer. Kenney said there are already 700 pre-orders.
The exhibit also contains photos from Kenney’s travels in and outside the U.S. He has been to Botswana, Namibia, Brazil, Costa Rica and more. His favorite overseas destination is Patagonia in South America. During his third trip to the region, Kenney rescued his Patagonian sheepdog from the cold winter streets of Punta Arenas.
It took two months, several thousand miles and the help of a Chilean guide, but Kenney managed to bring her back to the U.S. Chupe, named after the dish he was eating the night he met her, is always an eager companion on his winter photography trips.
“She's got the best story of any dog in Maine. (Chupe’s) more interesting than my photography,” said Kenney, laughing.
Although Kenney’s travels have been filled with memorable experiences, his favorite location is still coastal Maine. “It's a more interesting landscape than any of the other New England states, or any of the eastern states for that matter, it's really hard to find a place ... as photogenic. Maine is 3,500 miles of coast ... from sandy beaches to granite headlands. So that's part of it, and I think part of it is just kind of what's inside me. I fell in love with Maine.”
Kenney plans to continue his winter photography with hopes to create another book or exhibition.
BRAF, at 1 Townsend Ave., is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.