PM360’s annual Greatest Creators cover competition asks our industry’s amateur artists to send in their best pieces of work for a chance to land on the cover of our special section that is all about creativity. This year, our staff picked “Down at the Pier in Portland” by Chet Moss, Chief Creative Officer, QBFox Healthcomm. PM360 spoke with Moss about his photo.

Chet Moss, Chief Creative Officer, QBFox Healthcomm

PM360: What background can you share about this photo?

Chet Moss: My brother and I take an annual, long Bro Weekend usually in New England. This photo was shot as we meandered the piers off Commercial Street in Portland, Maine (a magnet for fish-eaters and camera guys). What fascinated me more than the buildings abutting the docks were the reflections of the structures in the water. Wherever I moved, they became fluid and freeform—like one of mother’s watercolors—and begged to be photographed. I happily obliged. I took a number of pics around the area but liked the imbalance of what was above and below the waterline of this one the best.

What kind of camera and lens did you use? How about specific settings?

The camera is a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. As the radio commercial says, I went to B&H. The lens was 18-135mm. Frankly, my aim is to find something interesting through the viewfinder (being precise with my framing) but almost always shooting with the aid of the friendly automatic setting. I stop when it comes to F-stops. Sometimes it all just comes together.

Did you do any work on the photo after it was taken?

I think the only thing I did was to push the saturation of the red in Photoshop. The natural serendipity of the reflections didn’t need to be touched at all.

Overall, what do you like about photography? Is this an art form you practice regularly?

My father (the art director, graphic designer, and writer) seemed to have a camera permanently attached to his hands. Every event in our family was commemorated from at least two angles. I cherish the oversized (almost 30” x 40”) albums we have (and how photography just freezes time). So, it’s kind of in the bloodline. But I’m more the casual buff. And frequently use my phone to capture what I believe will be a “great shot!” That is, until I delete it.

Do you enjoy or practice any other forms of art?

Well, I’m an inveterate doodler. I think my wife has to work around my chicken scratchings every time she reads a newspaper article. I also design lots of cards and graphics for my extended family and friends and mail an annual New Year’s card (based on the numeral of the year) which gives me great joy. I used to do a lot of Magic Marker illustrations and still miss that smell. As well, I write short, satirical observations about assorted topics which sometimes find their way into both industry and general pubs (i.e., writing = art). So, yeah, a somewhat restless pursuer of the arts.

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