Michael Rindler

Working Vessels become works of Art



Michael Rindler
A boat moored in Southwest Harbor was photographed by artist Michael E. Rindler and printed on aluminum to enhance the metallic stillness of the water; it’s part of a photography display set to open at Harbor House Community Service Center in Southwest Harbor on Monday, Dec. 5.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Southwest Harbor photographer Michael E. Rindler finds beauty in working vessels – handsome boats and antique motorcars. His photography, which features the fishing boats of Mount Desert Island and the Cranberry Isles, will be exhibited at the Harbor House Community Service Center in Southwest Harbor throughout the month of December, opening Monday, Dec. 5th.

“I’ve lived in Southwest Harbor since 1997. And have had the fortune of living only a couple of houses away from Ralph Stanley, the legendary Southwest Harbor wooden boatbuilder,” said Mr. Rindler. “I’ve been around his boats for years now. He has built a couple of small ones for our family, and so many beautiful working boats in general. It is accurate to say that Ralph’s boats and his craftsmanship are the inspiration for a lot of my photography.”

Mr. Rindler works with three photographic mediums, the most unusual of which will be on prominent display at Harbor House: photographs printed on aluminum.

“It’s a very cool process that amplifies images of metalwork. And it works really well for abstract reflection photographs,” he said. “I take most of my pictures early in the morning for the purpose of maximizing reflection. The water itself looks metallic and shining, so when it is printed on the metal, you get a great effect.”

Mr. Rindler also creates photographs printed on canvas, softening the photograph and mimicking the depth of a painting. And he has created a series of traditionally printed 8×10 color photos, all of working boats.

“This is the series I am most excited about,” he said. “These are eight or 10 prints that I’d like to give to the fishermen who own the vessels in the photographs. The only thing I’d ask is that they give a small donation to Harbor House. So I hope some fishermen come out to identify their vessels and get copies of the photos.”

Also displayed at Harbor House will be Mr. Rindler’s collection of vintage motorcar photographs. The display is made of close-up detail shots of Ferrari and Bugatti motorcars from the ’30s and ’50s. The photographs are focused on the sculptural detail of vintage cars.

“I really enjoy doing those,” said Mr. Rindler. “I really enjoy doing all of this.”

For all of these photos, Mr. Rindler used Lecia digital cameras. The 8×10 working boat photos were printed with a Cannon 9900 printer on high gloss paper. The most sizable print at the show is a 24×36 aluminum print of a moored boat at dawn.

“I have been doing this for a long time, maybe 30 years or so,” he said. “All the new technology is fun to learn too. Conversion from film to digital was hard for an old guy like me, but you can do so much with digital. Still, I choose not to manipulate the pictures in any way. I am into taking the photographs, not altering them.”

Next summer, Mr. Rindler plans to host a bigger exhibition of his work featuring 20 or 30 area working vessels. Inquires about the photographs may be made to Mr. Rindler at 244-3141 or [email protected].

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

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