….. AND THE LIVIN’ IS EASY.

I’ve been in one of my occasional photo-funks … uninspired about what to photograph … weary of shooting the same old scenes … and feeling it particularly in my summer life at the shore.  Do I really want to shoot another sunset or that old jetty in the surf?

And then —- then something crosses my vision and I go for it and the result excites me.  I should re-read my own 2013 essay on this subject (A Photography Phunk) and get my head straight.

Well, anyway, how’s this?

————-

—————–

It is summertime, and the livin’ is easy, and we won’t be seeing scenes like this in January (at least until I get back to Sanibel).  So, here are some more.

This was late afternoon and I wondered if the light being reflected from the bay would illuminate the chimney of the lantern.  As I brought the camera to my eye I hollered “Cue boat” and along it came.  I’m pleased with the image; the light in the lantern made the point, and I also like the coil of rope whose loose arrangement offsets the more formal nature of the image.  Artist’s Confession:  With the Spot Healing Brush I removed the Greenhead Fly that was on the chimney (well, it is summertime).

————————-

======================

Here’s another successful “Cue boat” scene.  Yeah, another sunset but I couldn’t resist the alignment and leading line.

—————-

———————–

At the beach the beach roses (Rosa Rugosa) are still producing blooms and a sweet, subtle fragrance.  With early morning dew my camera quivers as it focuses on to them.

———————–

On the beach a couple of weeks ago I managed to enjoy my first beach nap of the season.  This entails a process:  bringing together a mound of sand for a pillow; then spreading out my towel over all; and then lying down and wriggling a bit until the sand bumps beneath are smoothed out.  Shortly after that I’m gone.  Here’s the way I described it in a summer post a few years ago:

The waves a sibilant roar.

The soft wind, a balm.

The warm sand, bumpy

But accepting.

Sleep comes.

————————–

————————

Back in reality I recently came across this deserted hull … derelict but surrounded by a funeral spray of Queen Anne’s Lace.  In a few months it may still be surrounded in white, probably snow.  R.I.P.

—————–

————————

—————

Here on Long Beach Island I don’t get to see the owls or Atlantic Puffins of Ray Yeager, or the hummingbirds of Susan Chilkotowsky-Kain.  I’m pretty much stuck with these guys so I have to depend on the scenery around them.  Well, the scene says summer.

—————-

————————

Finally, here’s one to sleep on.  A perfect conclusion for the other end of the day.

———————-

——————-

——————-

Thanks for visiting.  I feel another nap coming on but I’ll be back.

————–

UNLOCKING SUMMER’S FRONT DOOR

It’s time for me to leave the cave and head back to the island.  After two trial weekends, yes, it’s good to be back.  Here’s what I unexpectedly, gratefully, captured at sunset last week.

——————-

IMG_1660 640

—————

It wasn’t shaping up as a great sunset.  There was, in fact, a cloud bank above the mainland, and the setting sun was above that.  By shooting with my telephoto lens, however, I was able to mask out the sun, leaving only this magnificent scene and color.  The foreground grasses provide an anchor for the viewer, and the four men fishing on the boat say,

Yes! Summer’s Here!

———————-

Another major sign of summer’s arrival is the blooming of the Rosa Rugosa or beach roses.  The dune makers (more on this below) spared the extensive clusters of the roses on either side of the ramp to the beach, making a beautiful entrance when in bloom.  They also have a lovely fragrance; it made me wish my camera could capture it.

————–

IMG_1652 640

——————-

Another sign of summer for me is the return of the Purple Martins to Cotov’s Condominiums along Liberty Thorofare.  So is the morning fog.

They’re Back … and their eggs have already been laid.  More to come.

————————-

IMG_1684 600

——————–

But the Big Story on Action News is the $128 million beach restoration project, a very impressive, 24/7 engineering project.  Security guards prevent ageing photographers from getting too close but here’s part of the feel of it.  The gulls ignore the Danger sign to feast on bits and pieces that come along with the sand being pumped in; the lady is heading for ignoring the sign but not, one hopes, for the bits and pieces.

IMG_1632 640

——————

Beach toys for big boys.

Beach toys for big boys.

———————

A block or two north the beach is open alongside the pipe carrying bottom sand from an off-shore dredge.  The pipe is marked “High Pressure.  Danger.  Stay Back” but the crew has created sand walkways over it.  Oh, well.  Frisbees must fly.

IMG_1644 600

———————

Did I mention summer fog?  Oh, yeah.  On this morning the pipeline was pumping in off-shore fog.

IMG_1688 600

———————

The pathway to the beach is now daunting.  A compacted gravel bed has been put in place which is so much easier to walk on rather than just the sand.

This family made it to the top.  They’re settling in but I expect signs soon to keep off of the dunes.

IMG_1692 640

————————

Anyway, once you get to the top of Mt. Dune an amazing vista opens up.

Plenty of room until the first nor’easter.

IMG_1653 640

—————–

—————–

CONTINUING AROUND CAPE ANN

Earlier this month I posted about a visit to Cape Ann, northeast of Boston.  The post was mostly about the village of Rockport on the coast and its harbor (see the Rockport post).  Well, there’s much more to see and photograph on the Cape, itself, and I offer some examples.

The coast line continues rocky, punctuated by the occasional safe harbor for recreational craft as well as a few commercial fishing boats.  This harbor is called Lanes Cove, and it opens into Ipswich Bay.  Note the granite blocks which form the breakwaters.

Image 01

———————————

Beaches are rare and seem to be more of a crushed granite (as seen above) than the quartz (silicon dioxide) of our South Jersey shoreline.  The image below is typical of the Cape Ann shoreline.

 Wavelets coming ashore.

———————–Wavelets coming ashore.

——————————————-

But between the rocks here and there are old friends…the Beach Rose or Nantucket Rose or, properly, Rosa Rugosa,  The white variety is not often seen and it was lovely.

Image 11

—————————————————

Besides having a rocky shoreline Cape Ann is boats…boats…boats.  Here’s a pair of Gloucester dories that caught my camera’s eye.

Image 03

—————————————-

A pleasant drive westward took me to the village of Essex located on the Essex River which runs northeasterly into Essex Bay and thence to Ipswich Bay on the coast.   Essex also makes its living from the sea including boat rides through the marshes of the river.  At Essex there’s a fine Shipbuilding Museum where volunteers rebuild old commercial wooden fishing hulls.  Adjacent is Burnham’s boat building shed, operated by Harold Burnham, the 28th of that family in the craft which has delivered over 4000 vessels since the 1819 founding.

Image 04

——————————————

Here’s a typical scene along the river, a marine railway with an occupant and a couple of squatters.

Image 05

————————————-

On the east side of Gloucester Harbor there is a small, narrow peninsula called Rocky Neck.  Over the years it has become an artists’ colony and an enjoyable place to visit.  Here’s a whimsical window on one of the gallery buildings along Smith Cove which is inside the peninsula.  It’s a creation painted on a piece of plywood screwed on to the siding.  Notice even the reflections in the bottom panes.  The window box is a second piece of painted plywood.

Image 07

————————————————

Here we have an “open-air” gallery on the water’s edge.  Maybe “plein air” paintings are best shown in open air.

This reminded me that a few years ago I proclaimed myself a plein air photographer.  It hasn’t affected my estate.

Image 06

—————————————

Smith Cove is also the home of one of the boats from the National Geographic series, Wicked Tuna.  The series chronicles the adventures of seven boats which seek the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in North Atlantic Waters.  Here’s one of them, Hard Merchandise, berthed next to a wall of tail fins from her catches.  In her 2014 season she brought in some 3000 pounds of tuna worth about $62,000.  That’s a lot of sushi.

Image 08

——————————————

This schooner also made me think of James Sessions’ watercolors of Gloucester Harbor.  (see my earlier post on Rockport Harbor.)

Image 09

————————————

Finally, I could not leave without capturing an image of Gloucester’s iconic 1925 memorial to the thousands of fisherman who have lost their lives over the centuries.

I was tempted to skip it because of how often it’s been published but I couldn’t pass it up with the clouds above it.

Image 10

——————————————-

A HAPPY ANNOUNCEMENT

I am pleased to report that my galleries on Pbase.com, experienced their six hundred thousandth (600,000) page view sometime in mid-August.  I opened these galleries in 2005 and they have proven to be a great display for my work, enabling me to post far more images that I could ever have done on this blog.  There’s almost no commentary other than some image titles, however, so my blog continues a role of enabling me to tell about some of my images and the related experiences.  There are 359 galleries of which 193 are public;  the rest are private family or institutional galleries.  The public galleries contain over 2100 images.  I’m grateful for all of the views that they have enjoyed.

————————————————

 

MORE FUN IN THE FOG

In a recent post, Ian Plant, mentor-to-many, said this:

“The collision of moisture and light is where photo magic is made.”

It seemed bang-on for another post about fog and surf. The Jersey shore this spring has experienced more fog than usual.  Up around Sea Bright there was seen a stationary fog bank just off shore that looked like an approaching tsunami wave.  A friend from Avalon, further south, told me that they’ve had a foggy spring as well.  Ours continues along Long Beach Island and while it’s pleasant and rather clear two or three blocks from the beach, the morning fog is parked on the beach and eastward.

Here’s a beach rose (Rosa Rugosa) covered with droplets from the morning fog.

Image 01

————————————–

Soon enough the blossoms age and drop their petals.  Sad but …. life.

Image 02

————————————-

The fog enhances some interesting patterns in the snow fencing of a winding path.

Image 03

————————————–

At the water’s edge my focus (no pun intended) was on the use of a Variable Neutral Density filter to smooth out or homogenize the surf.  (You can read about this — or not — by pulling down that tab at the top of the page … Mastering Variable Neutral Density Filters.)  Here’s one result.  Remember, I’ve not only greatly slowed the shutter speed, it was also a misty scene.

Image 04

———————————–

 Or, from the other side of the jetty….

Image 06

I’ll be working this pasture again this summer and fall.  A nor’easter’s waves will call me.

************************************

But, with or without the variable filter, fog offers lots of possibilities for interesting images.  Here’s one that especially pleased me.

Image 05

———————————-

Moral:  “Have a nice day.” is not always a good wish for photographers.

SUMMER’S FIRST G&T

Yeah, yeah, I know.  It’s not summer yet but it sure felt like it.  The Memorial Day weekend was mighty fine.  I said to the family that it was as though we had been in a winter time warp;  then someone pulled the switch and we fell out into last August.  Bagels from the Bagel Shack; three trips a day to Murphy’s to get the food items we forgot to get earlier; fisherman and crabbers at the foot of the street;  flip-flops lined up at the beach entrance; surfers and beach walkers; the ice-cream guy’s bells; roller blades on West Avenue…

We enjoyed it while looking anxiously over our shoulders, half expecting the nice weather to be pushed away.  But, it didn’t happen even though we all remember wet, cold, Memorial Days in the past.  Clearly, the season has begun and we’re pleased that neither spring nor summer have forgotton how to do it right.  The Purple Martins know it; they returned to their condos a few weeks ago.

The celebration day was beautifully clear at Beach Haven’s Veterans’ Bicentennial Park, ready for the ceremony at the gazebo. 

The parade was “down-home” with the Mayor, our friend Professor Commissioner Nancy Davis, the Boy Scouts, the antique cars, Missy and John Maschal in their early 20th C., wood-sided Fudge Truck , the fire engines and first-aiders, and a super marching band.

During the service, veterans were invited to gather before the podium.  Feeling inadequate in the presence of those who had been in harm’s way I went up anyway, proud to have served my country.  I never fired a shot in anger but I served, helping to maintain our defense establishment with the Atlantic Fleet Seabees in Morocco, Spain, and Puerto Rico.  Here’s Bergie and his construction company of Seabees in front of a completed vital defense structure (a base commissary ;-))  (For this I had to master navigation and seamanship??)

The Memorial Day Pig Roast was fun and filling.  Fun also to see old friends again to begin the season.

Other signs of the seasonal change are here.  There’s usually a tiki of some sort nailed to the top of a post along the boardwalk from the street to the beach.  Here’s this year’s…whimsical and endearing.

And, just by that walkway are the beach roses, Rosa Rugosa, sometimes called Nantucket Roses, which are most lush and prolific at this time of year:

This is also the season for the exotic, beautiful mountain laurel blossoms.  The reddish cast, a departure from the usual light pink, is rare for the area, and is seen mostly in the nearby pine barrens.

And, finally, the regal,delicate ballerina, the iris.

The G&T?  Oh, yeah, we had a couple.

A KISS-OFF BY KATIA

Coming on the heels of Irene I was apprehensive about Hurricane Katia.  Fortunately, she turned well out into the North Atlantic but not without disturbing the surf.  Early that morning  I was sitting out on the covered porch, enjoying a coffee amidst now-and-then showers.  But the wind was coming from the beach and I could hear the waves pounding.   Enough with the coffee!  Off to the beach to observe Katia’s tail wagging.

Waves from Hurricane Katia pound the jetty.

Evidence of what could have been was abundant.

 

 

 

But the day had promise, later fullfilled,  as witness the dune grass and a  rain-dropped Rosa Rugosa with Bayberry background as I left the beach.