….. 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?

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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SUMMER SLOWLY SLIPS AWAY

Labor day’s over …. Hermine pulled out … the end-of-season Commodore’s Ball is over … the weekly rentals are gone home … the Purple Martins left town a few weeks ago … there’s no weekday morning headboat, in fact, only an occasional boat at all … there are ginger snaps, mums and candy corn for sale … the cicadas frantically buzzed their way back to Middle Earth, replaced by the crickets, embarrassed to be noisy in the post-Labor Day quiet … school buses are on the streets … and the Canada Geese are honking.

Yep, summer’s slippin’ away.  It always makes me think of this quotation which I’ve used before:

“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon.  The two most beautiful words  in the English language”

                                                                           Henry James

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Well, I’ve got a few pixels left from summer to help me remember what it was like.  Here are some.

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I love this piece and the image.  Besides Royal Blue being a favorite color I’m hooked on the many-lenses effect giving me lots of views of a favorite place.  Even the puff of cloud overhead was captured in the stem.  My daughter, Sigrid, bought some of these including tumblers this summer so that they could always identify their glasses at the BYO parties.  We’ve seen this kind of glassware, typically thought of as Bohemian, where a color flashing is artfully cut away to create the lenses.  This one, however, is plastic and a beautiful job.

Way back in August I mentioned that I had gone to the beach to photograph a rainbow but I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it.  However, I keep tripping over it and it’s grown on me.

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I like the warm misty tones, especially on the new hewn railings that guide us over Mt. Dune.

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Next, a summer treat from my youth (I wonder when that was).  Every summer when the Jersey tomatoes were in, my mother would prepare a feast by frying them, then making a milk gravy with the leavings and serving it all with bread.  What a great memory.  Then a few years ago I found out that Barbara’s mother also made them so now once a summer Barbara prepares this treat for us.  Yum!

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Another August, season-ending event is the art show held at the club.  Members showed their talents in painting, photography, decoy carving, and sculpture.  Here were my offerings.

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 It was an all-canvas array including the largest I’ve done.  I had the two larger pieces done by a lab but printed and stretcher-mounted the two smaller ones myself.  Except for the lower right twilight scene they were all worked up with software to create a painterly effect.

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The four cat boats scene was from last year’s Twilight Sail , and the image was selected for the club’s 2016 events calendar.  The selection was made by my long-time friend (and powerful tax advisor) (and son of long-time friends Fran and Joe) Vice-Commodore Joe O’Neill.  The painterly version canvas went home with the lead boat’s owner.  (Honest, Ken, I didn’t set you up.  😉 )

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Sunsets and sunrises are an important scenic focus all year round but summer seems to bring more drama and opportunity.  This one is iconic which is a fancy way of saying, yes, I’ve seen this kind of scene before.  But it appealed to me to have the chairs off-center and closer to the viewer, the sun centered between them, and that boat on the right for tension.  Also, Barb and I saluted a lot of sunsets this summer from these chairs.

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Finally, here’s another favorite of mine from past posts.  I’ve not come across a more moving way to say again,

Shucks, the season’s over.

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ONE WEEK TO GO

It’s clear that someone removed a week in either July or August because, suddenly, there is now only one week remaining in the summer season.  Shame!  Something else to blame on Sandy?

This past weekend was wonderful;  in the sixties at night, and bright, clear skies and northerly winds in the daytime.  But they’re a sign that someone’s bringing the check soon and I’m overdue for posting some summer snapshots.

Pearl and I still have this kind of a scene during early morning coffee on Grampa’s deck.  Near, in the copse on Mordecai Island is the Great Blue Heron which seeks out that spot for the early morning sun.  Awakening, four and a half miles away, is Tuckerton Beach.

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We continued the post-Sandy cleanup.  My son-in-law, Bob, has worked hammer and tong to replace the wallboard in the flooded first floor, and he has done so with a half-height surface of beach-ey beadboard.  Looks nice.  Outside, Sigrid worked to clean the planting beds and prune the Crepe Myrtles.  We were delighted to see them come into bloom.  I had to protect the rambler roses, however, as the sense was that they should be torn out.  They must have heard that because they yielded beautiful blooms.

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Paddle boarding has become popular both off of the beach and, more so, in the bay waters.  I see these groups and singles going by frequently.  Once there was a solo with his dog on the bow of the board.  Here it looks as though the babysitter didn’t show this morning, or is that the babysitter?  Daughter Sigrid has been out a couple times, making the 1.5 mile circumnavigation of Mordecai Island.

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Storms come in summer, some impressive with scary wind and lightning.

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There were rainy days.  The Black Pearl pirate ship sails daily from Beach Haven into the waters of Little Egg Harbor bay.  This was a sad trip, however, as the heavens opened.  Most of the passengers crowded the poop deck for shelter (please, that’s from the French for stern, la poupe) but some seemed to enjoy being at one with the elements.

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This is the once proud Sultan, fisher of all manner of seafood, sailed by two generations of the Cotov family.   Friends of ours here remember going down to the boatyard on Friday nights and buying fresh lobster right from the boat.  Several years ago, the last to sail her, the late Nick Sr., was hard at work caulking and painting her on the scaffold.  I asked him if he planned to launch her.  He answered’ “Yep.  As soon as the ocean comes cross the island she’ll go in. ”  Well, Sandy came and went and I’m really surprised that Sultan didn’t go with her as there was certainly enough water under her.  Here she continues to age amidst her eclectic setting, including many of her lobster traps.

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On the side of the shop at the landing is this salute to Kate, wife of the first Sultan owner, Sam Cotov.   Kate lived for more than a century, passing away only a few years before Nick, Sr.  Young Nicky who makes his living in part from slip rentals and wholesale bait keeps the window box tended.

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Finally, yes, we do have some great sunsets over Mordecai and distant Tuckerton.  I was sitting in my living room recently when I noticed the warm glow of another production sunset coming through a nearby window.   The stained glass panel is one I described in a May post, and can be seen further under the Stained Glass Work tab at the top of the page.  Anyway, it was a serendipitous happening of warm sunset, structured clouds, reflection from the water, and the panel.

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It’s been a good summer for me.  The kids, their three dogs and their cat left last week to restart the off-island life.   That’s always a melancholy event but….some of them are coming back.  Granddaughter Maddy moved back to her second year at Cornell but granddaughter Gretchen doesn’t leave for UCLA until late in September.  So, the family will be back with me in the coming weeks to share the beauty of fall’s arrival.

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THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK – 5/1/10

 

Sunrise From Foothills Parkway

I recently attended a field workshop in the Great Smokies sponsored by Mountain Trail Photo under the leadership of Richard Bernabe, one of their principals.  Mountain Trail is a publisher of photography books (over 800,000 sold) and an operator of nature workshops all over the country and soon to be in other parts of the world.  I toured Charleston and the Low Country with Bernabe a year ago, and Vermont last fall with Joe Rossbach, another noted nature photographer in their group.

A Cascade Along Porter's Creek Trail

I  joined eleven pleasant others from all over the country and enjoyed the experience immensely.   We broke out early (on the road at 6:20) to try and capture sunrise across the ridges of the Smokies with fog rising from the valleys.  The first picture above is one result.  There were perhaps another two dozen photographers at that vantage point and they had a table set up with coffee and sweet rolls.  (We didn’t.  Have got to get the name of that outfit.)    During the day it was mountain streams, falls and cascades, and wildflowers.

Wild Crested Dwarf Iris

One day there was too much sun (if you can believe that) which makes for two much contrast between light and shadow when shooting nature scenes.  So, Richard had us studying the reflections of the trees and the sky in running streams.  Some interesting results.

Reflections of Sky and Tree Leaves

Finally, at the end of the day, we sought the sunset from Newfound Gap Road.  The first night it poured although we dutifully stayed on scene in case the clouds might part.  They didn’t.  The next night was more rewarding as you can see  below.  In years of shooting sunsets I’ve never seen one cloud puff outlined as though on fire itself.

There are a few more images of wildlowers, cascades, some nice scenics, and snapshots of our group at work at my galleries.  Click here.

A Cloud On Fire