Subtlety in Familiarity

Wide angle HDR landscape photograph of ominous clouds backlit by a pastel sunset at Antoinetta's Restaurant
Subtlety in Familiarity — 14mm | f/8 | ISO 100 | 7 Bracketed Exposures

Fierce sky tonight, folks. Ominous. Brooding. Ever-changing. A fitting vibe on this the third anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. Context appropriate I made for an old standby location: Antoinetta’s Restaurant, down at the far east end of Cedar Run Dock Road in West Creek, NJ—an area that was beat up pretty bad from the storm. Now closed for the season, at least I think, this pointe will likely feature more regularly in my winter shooting rotation. So huzzah for that. For whatever reason I’ve had some great luck capturing dramatic skies from this spot. Perhaps none more dramatic than this. Or this.

Not content to simply recreate an oft used composition from this location, I used what nature gave me. In this case? Puddles and some undulating sand—it should be noted I’m obsessed with this kind of sand pattern. It’s a personal Shangri-La I’m always keeping a keen eye for. But we all know sand is fleeting so it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. Either way this combination made for an interesting and complex foreground and thus I set myself and my trip up further back than usual. The key takeaway is this: even though we as shooters return to the same location over and over again doesn’t mean our shots ever have to be the same. Between the sky, natural processes such as erosion, the change of seasons, and even a little rain and/or tidal flooding can make all the difference in rendering subtle changes to seemingly familiar surroundings. No two photographs are ever the same no matter where you stand.

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