Paul Doherty’s career as a Martha’s Vineyard photographer began along the shore, with images of beach stones and sea glass.

He then started aiming his lens at the sea itself, creating his colorful Reflective Abstractions series while kayaking Vineyard Haven waters. In these photographs, some of which have been added to the permanent collection at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, rippling waves gleam with sunlight and the reflected hues of painted boats.

Mr. Doherty’s eye next fell on the dinghies that crowd together on town beaches. Spotting the marks of use that make each little vessel’s hull as individual as a human fingerprint, he developed a series of close-ups called Dinghy Scratches that could pass for dynamic abstract drawings.

For his latest exhibition, at the Vineyard Haven library, Mr. Doherty has stepped back from these minutely observed details to take in larger Island views. Titled Sunrise, Sunset and to the Moon!, Mr. Doherty’s new show brings together photographs from dawn and dusk, his favorite times of day to shoot.

“I love the light in the early morning and at night. It’s soothing to my brain,” said Mr. Doherty, a retired actor who moved to the Vineyard in 2012 while suffering from a brain ailment doctors expected would prove fatal.

When it didn’t, Mr. Doherty said, “I figured I had to live.”

During his early recovery, Mr. Doherty said, he was plagued by headaches and vertigo that seemed to ease when he was absorbed in photography, first on the beach and later in his kayak. As his health returned, he increasingly began capturing larger scenes. The images in his current show include, for the first time, full views of boats.

Riding peacefully at their moorings, the vessels are silhouetted by the true subjects of Mr. Doherty’s camera: the colorful skies above, reflected in the rippling waters below.

“I’m always drawn to the light,” he said.

Human figures are also beginning to appear in the work, such as a pair of swimmers soaking up the last of the daylight on a West Chop swimming float.

All of the photos in the show were taken in 2019. They include a breathtaking portrait of the moon that’s particularly remarkable because Mr. Doherty captured it without a tripod, by bracing his body against a tree.

The camera he uses is a Canon HS730 with a 40x zoom lens. It fits in his pocket, Mr. Doherty says, which means he’s less likely to miss a shot when something catches his eye. One such evanescent image is his photo showing the full moon rising hugely over a house that’s dark, except where golden light glows from two lower windows as if to answer the moonlight.

“That was pure accident,” said Mr. Doherty, who was so fixated on capturing the moon that he only noticed the windows after he snapped the shot.

Sunrise, Sunset and to the Moon! is on display through mid-February on the lower level of the Vineyard Haven library, which is open daily: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.