The Sea Moves | Captured: February 5, 2021 | Location: Cedar Run Dock Road, Cedar Run, New Jersey
I’m pleased to begin with this blue hour beauty. Thematically it is special to me. It represents a goal to both simplify my process while becoming more expressive at the same time. Even if this is decidedly an expression in subtlety. Movement through panning, where I quickly pan my camera left to right parallel to the horizon to create motion blur, are a means to that end. Minimalist, understated, evocative, and full of movement—it represents how I want to capture and share our New Jersey coastal space. Painterly, ethereal, and most importantly, ours.
World Between Worlds | Captured: July 27, 2021 | Location: Ocean Acres, New Jersey
Three days before turning 39, a caterpillar appeared on my back deck. Right there chilling in some potted dill already gone to seed. I didn’t know it at the time, but a bit of retroactive googling instructed me it was a black swallowtail caterpillar to be precise in my documentation. Either way, her colors were wonderful and afforded an ideal partner to the business end of my 100mm macro lens.
Blue Too | Captured: August 19, 2021 | Location: Cedar Run Dock Road, Cedar Run, New Jersey
All I remember about this shot—which is honestly next to nothing—is that, 1) I don’t think I’ll ever tire of this specific composition, and 2) man, was I depressed. Thoughts and feelings aside, this is a classic shot well tied to my overall body of work. Seems a fitting inclusion here. Besides, who can get enough of the summertime power combo of blue and green? It’s the power couple of the salt marsh.
Lone | Captured: September 27, 2021 | Location: Cedar Run Dock Road, Cedar Run, New Jersey
Back to blurry pan shots—and honestly, this entire best of could have been blurry pan shots. Maybe this is creative regret manifesting for never being able to hack it as a painter? Here we have a 35mm offering right as the sun sets over Cedar Run Dock Road marsh. In fact, this is the same spot and orientation of Blue Too, seen above. This juxtaposition shows how much differing focal lengths (35mm vs 14mm), available color through visible light (sunset vs blue hour), and technique (handheld pan shot vs. bracketed exposures on a tripod merged for HDR in post) affects the product. Made at the same exact spot and yet two entirely different photographs. This is the magic of photography.
Be Here Now | Captured: November 7, 2021 | Location: Cedar Run Dock Road, Cedar Run, New Jersey
How about we wrap with a classic? A late fall burner shouldering the passions of a sky on fire. All that power and energy cast over the now brown and dormant marsh. This is the salt marsh scene that will dominate through April. You can mark the passing of the years by this marsh, and thanks to my camera and this website, I have managed to do just that for the better part of a decade.
Photography definitely took a back seat this year. It’s been waning for years now, and part of why I intend to focus more on pan shots is a matter of time. It’s less involved. It’s easier to do a thing quick with life affording less time overall for the doing of things. It’s effective and efficient. An exercise in pragmatism. An office-speak win-win if we were bobbling our heads back and forth on a zoom call right now.
Creatively things are still firing—thankfully. The difference is most of that is going into home cooking. I never saw myself living and rocking in the kitchen before, but Covid made sure of that. And in a total surprise, I’ve discovered a real passion and panache for cooking. The parallels to photography are remarkable. Both were two things I had zero interest in doing for the majority of life. Both coming out of ending relationships. Both surprising me in extraordinary ways. Both humbling me, teaching me (trying to, anyway) to keep an open mind. There is one key difference, however. Unlike photography I have a real confidence when I prepare and cook food. This is not something I have experienced making photographs. Imposter syndrome continues to flex in that arena.
But this is not the end! Not at all. Photography will remain a thing. That this little creative space on the internet will be a thing. And I hope that new surprises will continue to be a thing. Once again, thank you all for your time and support through the years.