Daniel Scheerer captures the magic light at Plymouth Long BeachBy Ann Luongo | Photography by Dan Scheerer
Plymouth is one of the most photographed towns in New England. Visitors marvel at its historic town center, bustling waterfront and unforgettable beaches. It was the natural beauty of Plymouth Long Beach that caught the creative eye of local photographer Daniel Scheerer.
A Duxbury resident, Scheerer would often wonder about the beach he could see across the bay. “It looked to have interesting contours and geography,” says Scheerer, who in recent years began to focus more on his photography and decided the time had come to explore the spit of beach to the south. “Now I wonder what took me so long.”
Scheerer was enchanted by the rolling dunes and the sprinkling of humble summer cottages along the western flank, and he has enjoyed many walks along the beach in an effort to document its natural beauty. “Plymouth Long Beach is a wonderful location to capture the varying light conditions at sunrise and sunset and when storms are passing through,” says Scheerer. “The peaks and valleys provide natural photographic elements.” While not every trip to the beach bears photographic fruit, the simple act of walking along the tidal flats and wavy shoreline provides time to think and appreciate the tranquil setting.
On his walks, Scheerer has come across many clues to hidden stories—wooden posts in the sand, a stone jetty and scraps of fencing and warning/preservation signs. “It’s not all pretty,” he says. “Some of the rusted remains of fencing present hazards, certainly to bare feet, but potentially to animal and bird life as well.” In time, Scheerer hopes to learn more about the history of the beach, geologically and socially, as well as the efforts over the years to preserve the spit.
Primarily self-taught in the art of photography, Scheerer prefers to visit the beach early in the morning or just as the sun is setting. “The harsh light of direct sun doesn’t allow the subtleties or the color palette that is generated from light on the horizon,” he said. “Dunes are particularly influenced by that light, so that is when you will see most landscape photographers plying their trade. It is also when you are likely to have the place to yourself, when others are sleeping or busy. If you are happy in solitude, those are the times to go.”
Similar to the geography of the Outer Cape, the rolling dunes of Long Beach have a unique character that is surprisingly hard to find on the South Shore. Graced with spectacular sunsets and glowing beach grass, Scheerer’s photos celebrate the natural beauty of the landscape.