Green Sight | Captured: May 12, 2020 | Location: Ocean Acres, Stafford, New Jersey
I shot about my yard quite a bit this year. Easy access and all that. Perfect for a lockdown. My lilacs bloomed up nice this year, and I am a particular sort of pleased with the ethereal, dreamlike quality evoked here. It’s as though this bloom somehow belongs to the Fair Folk living in a parallel world superimposed atop ours yet somehow still eternally far away.
This Is Not Important | Captured: June 15, 2020 | Location: Cedar Run Dock Road, Stafford, New Jersey
Pockets of beautiful imagery and picturesque sunsets belied the extraordinary upheaval 2020 wrought. In the midst of a pandemic not seen in a century, centuries old issues of race and social justice exploded in death and protest. It is of critical importance we remember the importance of all that sacrifice and pain.
Working Class Hero | Captured: July 8, 2020 | Location: Ocean Acres, Stafford, New Jersey
Dark and brooding. A melancholy in monochrome. The ever faithful honeybee plying his craft to provide for the hive delivered through an indefatigable sense of duty. Understated is the power of bees. Here with stark contrast the sun’s sidelight shows a spotlight on our special little bee. His moment in the sun. Pollinate on, my friend, and be well.
Safe Haven | Captured: July 14, 2020 | Location: Cedar Run Dock Road, Stafford, New Jersey
Pulling shots is my jam. I’m not sure that’s a technical term, but it’s how I best describe the motion blur photographs I make by design on occasion. An easy sweeping motion left to right parallel to the horizon. Tis pulls the image in a way not unlike a painter taking a wide dry brush purposefully across wet paint upon a canvas. It brings movement, color, simplicity, and flow. I’ve made about a dozen or so of these by now, and this is by far my favorite yet. The color and stretch of the marsh, sky, and water is sublime. Someday I’d like to make of show of my best blurry pulled shots.
Peace and Pilings | Captured: July 18, 2020 | Location: Cedar Run Dock Road, Stafford, New Jersey
Simple. Symmetrical. Balanced. Beautiful. This square format production is either my second of third favorite photograph of the year. Either immediately behind or in front of Safe Haven. Coincidentally shot only days apart from the same location—where my parents keep their boat. There is real peace here. The colors all hit just right. The scene is calling out, imploring you to stay awhile and listen. Nature will always teach us.
Bloom Squad | Captured: August 1, 2020 | Location: Ocean Acres, Stafford, New Jersey
Thanks to the Carrs and the opportunity to make photographs of their adorable daughter’s first birthday, I got to play with the 85mm L glass. What a lens! Wide open and it is tack sharp, razor thin depth of field with bokeh for days. Yeah the glass is about the size of a grapefruit and weighs a ton, but damn is it one hell of a portrait lens. Testing it out in the morning I made this photograph of my purple coneflowers and I love the scene. A faerie world of flowers, blooms, and fanciful stories of full and well loved hearts. Someplace somewhere the storybooks are true.
The Gift of Winter | Captured: December 13, 2020 | Location: Great Bay Boulevard, Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey
We end with power. My favorite photograph of the year, and for my money my best sunset photograph since 2015. It’s the spiritual successor to Ruinous Splendor, somehow recapturing the magic and energy. I never thought it was possible. Yet somehow twice the some spot at the same time of year a half decade apart and history found itself looping back upon itself. Time is a flat circle. This hobby will always teach you, always surprise you, and always make you humble.
It somehow seems wrong and callous to talk about the best of anything in the year 2020. A year unlike any other in our lived experience. A year brought low. Lessons of challenge, perseverance, self-reliance, loss, grief, isolation, prioritization, adaptability, change, upheaval, deceit, failure, wellness, and so much more served up in ample doses whether or not we cared to receive them. Each and every one of us challenged in unique, manifold ways. How will we emerge from the crucible? What choices and actions will we take in the wake of the circumstances and challenges we’ve faced? How will we respond? How will we come together? How will we again strive through the long dark walk home and thrive? These answers all set chained inside ourselves clawing at their fated fetters desperate for liberation. May your 2021 be better in every single way.