Sag Harbor publicist, journalist and creator of HamptonsPartyGirl.com, Dawn Watson is showing her photographs of the Hamptons in Natural Abstractions + Landscape Loves, a solo exhibition at the Montauk Library with a reception on Friday, March 24, from 6–8 p.m. The show will remain on view through April.
Watson, who has a keen eye for finding exceptionally beautiful scenes in a place already flooded with beautiful scenes, took some time out of her busy schedule juggling multiple careers and being the Hamptons Party Girl—a woman about town—to answer some questions about her upcoming show.
You were a newspaper editor, then got into PR. How did you find your love of photography?
The first photo I ever took as a journalist was a beach scene. It was actually a dead whale, but it was on the beach nonetheless. Ever since I moved out here (about 15 years ago), I’ve been entranced by the landscape, especially the water; it’s a source of strength and is also a soothing source of calmness and serenity. It never fails to fill me with awe.
Shooting for newspapers and magazines gave me an appreciation of how to approach the landscape visually–what makes a shot look good. And then working as a real estate photographer after I struck out on my own gave me a few more technical skills that helped me to bring out the best in a scene. I seldom go anywhere without a camera, because you never know when you’re going to experience something extraordinary.
Your website has a bunch of pics on it in various sections. Will you be showing most of the stuff we see in the Natural Abstractions section? Have you decided which landscapes you’re showing?
Most of what’s in Natural Abstractions will be in this show, though a few of the shots haven’t made the final cut. Editing is hard, with words and with images.
Do you have a favorite place or subject to shoot locally?
The water. Always. This show covers the length of the South Fork, with images taken from Montauk to Westhampton.
Tell us about your inspiration for the Natural Abstractions.
The images are my photographic love letters to that part of the Hamptons that I most cherish, aside from the wonderful people who live here, of course. Some are broad expanses and others are intimate closeups, but they are all homages to this place we call home.
Do you have any plans for what you’ll shoot next, or does it happen more spontaneously than that?
It’s so spontaneous that it drives my friends nuts when we go on beach or nature walks. I’m that annoying person who has to stop every five seconds to capture some new and wonderful scene.
You can see more of Dawn Watson’s work at dawnwatsonhamptons.smugmug.com.