Man Photographers Boat “Scum Lines” To Create Beautiful Hull Art

The hull of the boat gets worn down by the saltwater and time and it takes on a beautiful, artistic look.

Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? That is one of the big questions in life if you want to get deep and meaningful.

Sometimes we don’t realize it, but we are looking at art. It’s all around us. And that is how one photographer got inspired while looking at the hull of a boat.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The hull of the boat had been worn down by the saltwater and time, much to the point that it looked almost like it was a painting of an island at sea. Pretty cool, right? That is how photographer Barry Beder of Falmouth, Massachusetts, suddenly became interested in scum line art.

As the photographer explained in the interview below, “I saw that this boat had this beautiful design and I took a closer look and when I did I realized it was barnacles and dirt and debris.”

Photo: HullScapes TM

After looking at it up close, it really is hard to imagine it’s a boat’s hull instead of a painting on a canvas.

Beder further added, “Locals call it the scum line of the boat. It’s the part of the boat that sits on the water and absorbs the chemicals and the compounds and the currents in the flow and it forms a pattern and a shape. And I noticed one day out of nowhere that this shape looks like beautiful art.”

Photo: HullScapes TM
Photo: HullScapes TM

This is how Beder got into creating his series of Hullscapes, which are just close-up photographs of the stained boat hulls. And it has proven to capture the imagination of others besides just Beder.

Ever since he began taking photos of scum line art, he has seen his photography work be featured in art exhibits throughout the state of Massachusetts. For a more varied look at his photography work, you can visit

Watch the video of the hull-scapes down below:

What do you think of these “paintings”? Let us know!