A SAMPLING OF MY 2017 WORK

As others do , I annually assemble a selection from my past year’s photography.  I go through all of my files for the year, and pick out those images that I particularly liked or that I thought were noteworthy.

Last year I started something new…a selection from the selection.  That was an effort to single out an even smaller set that I felt best characterized my work and its breadth.  That was a challenge but satisfying so here’s the story for 2017.

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Our lives generally restart with each new day.  I had already chosen this one for the set and thought it would be good to begin the post with a new day.  I am always drawn to back-lit scenes and specular reflections.  That’s what I saw here but I was also taken with the father and son doing some investigating at dawn.  The specular reflection also takes the eye diagonally across the image to the others walking the beach who anchor the scene in the corner .

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This is also a morning scene.  In this case it’s early enough that the morning dew hasn’t yet evaporated.  I’m fond of these beach roses and it was nice to come upon a bud just opening.

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I was fortunate to grab this shot while I was waiting around for a sunset scene to complete a summer day post.  Instead, the drama of the cloud shapes and their side-lighting drew my interest.  Then it was “Cue gull” and it flew in almost perfectly positioned. I’d have preferred it just a little more down to its right.  Notice also the cloud shadow coming in from lower left to upper right.  And (I’m sorry but I can’t resist it) the big cloud puff is in danger from the alligator cloud moving in on it.

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This is my fantasy arboretum.  It consists of a pebbled glass plate on which the artist painted tree trunks and birds and then glued on bits of crackled glass along with some larger tumbled pieces.  It attracted me because of its novelty and whimsy and because it’s pretty.  I actually photographed two of them together, one slightly to the right and in front of the other, and then blended them in Photoshop.

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This gathering is a favorite for several reasons.  First is the lighting coming in from our left which adds contrast to the scene, and it’s a warm morning light; second is the diagonal array of the terns and the shoreline which takes the eye well into the image to the anchoring trees at upper right; third, I like that the line of the waves parallels the beach and the birds; fourth, I always find these tern gatherings amusing.

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This scene is not on the beach!  It’s unusual for me but it’s a special for the year.  I had gone to Philadelphia to photograph a December festival of lights at Franklin Park which is located at the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge from New Jersey.  I enjoyed all of that but this scene from the park grabbed my attention.  In the upper foreground is the sculpture of lightning honoring Benjamin Franklin.  In the lower foreground are the headlights of cars streaming past on 6th Street in front of the steps to the sculpture.  Behind the sculpture we see the traffic and towers of the bridge.  It’s the kind of scene that requires study and is well out of my landscape comfort zone.  Good!  My friend and colleague, Richard Lewis, described the scene as asymmetric symmetry, and I like that as well as the scene.

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Although I admit a predilection for foggy scenes this image earned its way into the selections for total effect. The four regressively dimming poles provide the eye’s path into the image.  That the poles’ direction is reversed in their reflections creates tension.  Although hard to see in this image there are two Ospreys perched on the third pole; grounded due to poor visibility.

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This image appeals to me.  It’s a statement about the darkness that says “End of season.  Go home.”  I like the sole foreground feature, the boat, and I see the horizon beyond the last marker as the end of the world.

(Never mind that the mainland is only a few miles over there.)

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We’re approaching the end of the day so a sunset or twilight is appropriate.  This is one of my all time favorites .  The colors and clouds are, of course, wonderful.  The shutter speed was slow because of the low light such that we see creamier water.  But the crowning touch was to have the Willets stroll in and settle there  for the 1.6″ of exposure.  Without them, nice but just another twilight on the beach.

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Finally, and at the end of the day, we had a special full moon in early December.  I set up the tripod and the long lens with extender and, yes, I got some nice shots of the moon which pretty much looked like every other moon shot in my files.  Then I wondered about the possibilities of this kind of shot.  It “grabs” me somehow.  I know that’s not definitive but … it’s mysterious and I’m drawn into the image.  I also like that next year’s buds were already formed and ready in December.  Consider it an early spring image.

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So, there you are; a special sampling of where I was in 2017, what I saw, what appealed to me, and what I captured.

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Thanks for reading and looking.  The rest of the year’s keepers are in this gallery.

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YEP, THE SEASON’S OVER

It is amazing how quiet things have become.  Little traffic on the boulevard and almost nothing on the side streets.  Little to no boat traffic, and dead quiet on the bay in the morning.  I’ve seen the Great Blue Heron soaking up the morning sun in the copse across from me on Mordecai Island, a sign of fall.  I’ve seen only one osprey on the perch whereas we had at least four out there this summer.  The street is quiet with only  four year-rounders, and but one on the street behind me.  Several of the shops are closed except for weekends.  Daughter Sigrid moved home to resume her family’s life up there; friend Barbara closed up her rental and went home.  The nights are quite chilly…and lonely.  I guess it’s winding down…as it does every year.  Duhhh.   Sigrid came to move me home a day early to avoid Jose.  I’ll miss the shore but I’m ready with projects in planning.

With the season’s end it’s not like this image every day but there can be moments.

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But, it’s been a great summer!!

I even got to photograph some beautiful people.  Here’s the sales force of Coastal Living Real Estate Group, a company created by my friend, Bonnie Wells.  This year she asked me to photograph the group for their advertising.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to appear soon on shopping carts!

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My days began brightly.  My grand-dog, Pippa, expected a handful of Cheerios Honey-nut cereal every morning.  She waited patiently at the hallway leading to my suite.  (She wouldn’t come in because, remember, an attack cat, Pearl, used to live in there, too.)  When I emerged there was much jumping around and tail wagging; by Pippa as well.  Regrettably, Pippa went home also.

 

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There is a stained glass panel of  mine that mutes the morning sun in our kitchen.  During early September’s full moon daughter Sigrid noticed that the moon fit nicely into the scene.  Here it is shining above Barnegat Lighthouse.   There’s more about the stained glass panel here.

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As the season winds down the club devotes a Happy Hour to members’ art.  It’s always a pleasure to see the capabilities represented.  Here were my entries this year, some scenes of Beach Haven and some of Sanibel Island.  Most returned to my walls but one did go home with someone else.  That’s always nice.

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With the end of the season underway I wanted to photograph some of the mesmerizing sanderlings.  You and I go to Murphy’s or Acme or Shop Rite.  These creatures chase along receding wavelets for their protein.

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While chasing sanderlings I also got to enjoy some surfer performance.  Here’s a man probably enthralled with the moment.  I would agree with him.  Photographically, beside the magic of the moment I particularly like the shades of green in the wave.

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Yes, the season is definitely over, especially as tomorrow’s the first day of fall.  Yes, there will be some nice, warm days, and the sanderlings will skitter and the surfers will probably keep it up all winter.  But my townhouse and projects and fall activities have said, “Come home.”  And so it goes.

I bid farewell to my friend, the Great Blue who takes the early morning sun in the copse on  Mordecai.  We agreed to look each other up next spring.

I’ll look forward to it.

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FIRST FALL WEEKEND AND A HARVEST MOON

I had read of a Pinelands hike into the Harris Paper Mill ruins for last Saturday.  I was itchy to get off of the beach but not enough for a five mile hike.  Marty Lou and I found the ruins in the early sixties when we were young and carefree and following the trails on the topo maps.  In those days there wasn’t any fencing around the ruins.  Oh, well.  Nevertheless I was beckoned so I drove to Harrisville Lake and walked along the shore for my size of hike.  It made me want to find that topo map and maybe try again sometime.  Here’s a view of the lake.

Harrisville Lake

Discussion:  Dark and no particular “wow” factor but it survived the cut because of the interesting clouds and their reflections, and the presence of two triangles in the composition which they tell us pleases the mind’s eye.  The peaks of those triangles draw the viewer’s eye upstream to … where??

Spillways are like magnets for me.  Here’s a view of the spillway below the Harrisville Lake dam.  The grasses running toward the top of the image drew me in.  The whitish puffs?  Perhaps cotton balls…..too early for snow.

Harrisville Lake dam spillway.

 

THE SEPTEMBER HARVEST MOON

The recent full moon, September 12th, occurring closest to the autumnal equinox is known as the Harvest Moon.  With the data from Stellarium, my astronomical software, I was on the beach and set up well before moon rise.  My fantasy has always been to capture the disk just (or slightly after emerging) with a golden trail of light dappling the surface of the ocean on its way to my lens.  Well, I need not have hurried.  There was a cloud bank offshore that kept the moon from appearing until some 20 minutes later, and it was hazy.   But, we keep trying.  The beach at twilight was lovely while waiting for the moonrise.  There are three ghosts of sanderlings skittering in the foreground for some dinner.

The beach at twilight in September.

With the moon up sufficiently I still couldn’t get my golden trail but the waves on the jetty gave me a nice balance.

The Harvest Moon Above the Jetty.

Finally, when it had risen still higher I was losing the “big” disk but there was my golden trail.

I was so glad to see the golden trail that I tried a little video to watch while I’m hibernating in my cave this winter.