Dates Of Event: July 26-28, 2019 (the event is usually held annually during the last weekend of July)
Location: Revere Beach, Revere Beach Blvd, Revere, MA (about 20 minutes northeast of Boston, MA, or 1 hour and 15 minutes southeast of Concord, NH)
Parking: Since they close the streets for the event parking is limited. Parking is available at the Wonderland train stop. You may also find street parking on a side street.
Universally Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: sand sculptures
Website: Revere Beach Sand Sculpture Festival
The early bird gets the unobstructed sand sculpture photos. Or, at least so I thought.
The last Sunday of July, I decided to wake up early and photograph the sand sculptures from the annual Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach. There was one slight problem. Everyone else north of Boston had the same idea. The streets and sidewalks at the beach were already slightly clogged with revelers, sun seekers and photogs by the time I arrived “early” at 6 a.m. But, with some effort, I was still able to get a few shots without people, workers or other objects in the background of most of my shots.
The annual sand sculpting event included 15 sand sculptors from all over the world. Awards were given to the top five sculptures that were judged by a panel of experts. There were also a “People’s Choice” award the visitors were able to vote for and a “Sculptor’s Choice” award the sculptors all voted for.
Then, there were 8 additional sand sculptures which did not win a prize but are no less impressive.
So, instead of a big, dramatic countdown, let’s start from the top of the list!
First place went to Canadian artist Melineige Beauregard for her sculpture, “The Nest.” Melineige also works with snow and ice to make sculptures during the colder seasons.
The first runner up in the contest was “Shell(ter)” by Jonathan (JOBI) Bouchard from Canada.
Third place went to Ilya Filimontsev from Russia for his sculpture “Guardian Angels.”
Fourth place went to Abe Waterman of Canada for his sculpture “I Just Can’t Bring Myself To Care, Doctor: An Ode To Apathy.”
Dan Belcher from Missouri came in fifth place with his sculpture “Trance.” Dan has been creating sand sculptures around the world since 1990.
The Sculptor’s Choice Award which was voted on by all of the sand sculptors was awarded to David Mac from Belgium for his work “La Renaissance De Notre Dame.”
The People’s Choice Award was awarded to Sudarsan Pattnaik from India for his sculpture “Save Our Ocean Stop Plastic Pollution.
Although only five of the sculptures won a prize, they were worthy of our praise. One of my favorites from the festival was “Eye Of The Tiger” by Sue McGrew of Washington state. She has been sculpting sand for over a decade.
“Attempting Union” by Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California was another popular sculpture at the event.
Fergus Mulvany of Dublin, Ireland, created another fan favorite called “Deep Sleep Diving.”
“Dream About Flight” by Aleksei Rybak from Russia is another sculpture that failed to qualify for one of the top spots in the competition.
“Mama Look !! I Found My Teddy!” by Deb Barrett Cutulle was popular sculpture despite not placing in the top of the competition.
“Horsepower” by Maxim Gazendam was another sculpture that failed to place in the top five.
“The Birth Of A New Universe” by Pavel Mylnikov from Russia was another sculpture that failed to make the cut.
Last, but certainly not least, is “Lady Moon” by Benoit Dutherage From France.
The theme of this year’s sand sculpture festival was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. And many of the sculptures from the To commemorate this monumental achievement, the main sand sculpture included sculptures of the astronauts involved in the voyage. Each of the sculptors contributed to these sculptures.
You have to be careful photographing the sunset, especially when you’re photographing it with other objects. For instance, I chose to use a lower aperture (5.6 for most of the photos) which left the sculptures often a bit dark. I also noticed that when I did edit the photos, I had to be careful to not use too much brightness or contrast or other buttons to control the darkness of the sculptures, especially the faces of the sculptures, because it can blow out the colors of the sunset. So, I chose to keep the sculptures a little dark and close up on the key features like faces to capture them without worrying about the background.
You can also try photographing from different angles where the shadows won’t be as bad. I was trying to avoid taking photos with people or other objects in the background. So it was hard to get photos of the sculptures from certain angles without getting people in the background and it also limited the angles I could shoot from. There were a lot of people there despite the early time of the shoot!
Since it’s unlikely the sand sculptures are going to move (and if the do leave immediately!), you can use AV (or Aperture Priority) mode so you can concentrate solely on the aperture settings. I have been using manual mode exclusively with my photos. But it took me a long time to get there. So, I do suggest using aperture priority mode if you’re not comfortable using full manual mode unless you’re photographing things that have action or some other element that requires a fast or variable shutter speed.