Commercial aerial photographer Alex Ferrone doesn’t need to look far to find the perfect snapshot.
“Everything inspires me,” she says. “It could be scenery or something that could be abstracted out of scenery. It could be paint peeling off a wall. It could be a person and their looks, their expressions. I’m photographing all day long, even with my iPhone.”
It was the colorful, undulating landscape of the Hamptons as viewed from a helicopter that helped serve as Ms. Ferrone’s muse for her latest exhibit, “Alterations,” on display at her Cutchogue gallery and studio, Alex Ferrone Photography, through Dec. 15. According to Ms. Ferrone, this is the only photography gallery on the North Fork.
“Alterations” also features work by award-winning fine art photographers Sandi Daniel of Freeport and Carolyn Conrad of Sag Harbor, who both employ various methods, steps and mediums to create their photos.
Ms. Conrad, for instance, constructs rural scenes using miniature wood and clay sculptures of barns. She then photographs the tiny buildings in natural light that has been manipulated to create highlights and shadows. The result is a vaguely haunting picture that looks like a cross between a photo and a painting.
“They’re really fascinating,” Ms. Ferrone, a Merrick native who moved to Southold several years ago, says of Ms. Conrad’s photos. “Everybody’s been captivated by them.”
And Ms. Daniel, who works in the photo-editing department of the New York Times, “has a great affinity for nature,” Ms. Ferrone says.
Ms. Daniel’s use of materials like gesso and gold on velum gives an ethereal, almost three-dimensional quality to her photos of things like spring blossoms and leaves.
For her own photos, Ms. Ferrone says, the colors and cuts of land and water on the East End are natural sources of inspiration.
“Our waters are beautiful, and sometimes really ugly and murky, but they can show me the greatest forms,” she says. “The way the waters play with the edge of the land and on the shore and on the shoreline is wonderful. I love the water, and when the sun plays with it as well, it just creates something totally different.”
The vivid colors Ms. Ferrone is able to capture in her shots might lead the casual observer to assume that certain hues had been enhanced post-production, but none of the photos has undergone any sort of digital manipulation.
“It’s straight photography, but the scene itself is an altered part of a larger scene,” she says. And part of getting shots like hers, Ms. Ferrone says, is being alert. “Keep your eyes open and see everything,” she says. “Just take it all in like a sponge.”
“Alterations” is on exhibit through Dec. 15 at Ms. Ferrone’s gallery at 25425 Main Road in Cutchogue.