Sandy and Lighthouse Reflections

Cape May Light, Cape May, New Jersey

Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast unlike ever before. Particularly hard hit was the Jersey Shore. I grew up in South Jersey and remember spending over 15 years vacationing in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island. I haven't been back to Beach Haven since I was a teenager but still have fond memories. My wife and I still have large families in New Jersey. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law own second houses in Wildwood and Cape May respectively. I was happy to hear that they had minimal damage to their houses. I was actually visiting New Jersey the weekend Hurricane Sandy was headed there. I went down to visit my Mom and catch an Eagles game with my brother-in-law. Needless to say, I never made the game as I hightailed it out of there back to Connecticut after helping him put up a tarp to block some of the rain (the tarp actually survived the wind).

I hope that the Jersey Shore recovers quickly and becomes even better than before. I haven't shot there in a couple of years so I am posting a re-edited image. This image is of the Cape May Light reflecting brightly after a big storm the night before. At least for me, it is symbolic that the Jersey Shore will shine again soon.

The Backside

A little change of pace for today's image. I don't shoot flowers very often but when you visit a sunflower farm, flowers are the main subject. There are so many excellent flower photographers out there that it is hard to get a different perspective. Although I know this composition is not original, I kind of like showing the backside of this particular sunflower with it's carpals (okay, I had to look this up) and receptacle.

Triple Vision

And now for something completely different. No your eyes aren't out of focus and I wasn't drinking before I captured this image. While I normally shoot images of landscapes, cities and architecture, I occasionally try to shoot images that my good friend Jeff calls, "artsy fartsy". I was helped out with this multiple exposure image of a sunflower field by the very talented photographer and workshop leader Denise Ippolito. For those of you who don't know Denise, she is a very creative and talented photographer and her work can be seen at her site, A Creative Adventure. I have been on a number of workshops with Denise and have always learned something new. In this case, she took me through the basics of capturing multiple exposures. While I had a general understanding of multiple exposures, it is always in the little details and tips that make the real difference. Anyway, take a look at her site and do not hesitate to sign up for one of her workshops. Oh, and let me know what you think of my little venture into "artsy fartsy".

Cape May Light

Cape May, New Jersey

This image is from the southernmost part of the Jersey Shore in Cape May. The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859 and continues to provide light to the cape. The light is the third of its kind although the first two would be under water today due to beach erosion. The lighthouse tower is about 157 feet tall. The walls were designed to withstand winds several times above hurricane force. The lighthouse is owned by the state of New Jersey. This image was taken from the grounds of the lighthouse shortly after dawn. The light gave the clouds some wonderful color that acted as a nice backdrop to the white lighthouse tower.

The Fishing Pier

Wildwood, New Jersey

One of the best places to spend the summer is the Jersey shore (don't in any way attribute the Jersey shore to the reality show). Every year, thousands of people from the surrounding area (South Jersey, Philadelphia, New York and Delaware) head to Wildwood, NJ. Wildwood's beach is arguably one of the best beaches in NJ with it's two mile boardwalk. The crowds were sleeping in on this early summer morning so I had the beach to myself along with my nephew. I really liked the lines of this fishing pier and shot off a couple of brackets.


Cape May, New Jersey

This image is a shipwreck lying just off the beach of Cape May, New Jersey. The ship was the S.S. Atlantus and was built by the Liberty Ship Building Company. Launched in December 1918, it was used to bring home US servicemen that fought in World War I. In 1926, there was a plan to use it and two other concrete ships as a ferry dock. Unfortunately, a storm hit and the Atlantus broke its moorings and ran aground where it is today. Now, it's just a twisted hulk of concrete and rebar poking out of the bay.

Cape May Light Sunrise

Cape May, New Jersey

I have always had a fondness for lighthouses and love to visit them whenever I can. In fact, I am currently touring New England lighthouses with my son who is an aspiring screenwriter. He has recently written a short story in which a lighthouse is featured prominently and we are in the process of scouting possible locations for a shoot. You can see more about his project and itinerary at his website. You can probably expect some of the New England lighthouses we visit in future blog posts. This image is of Cape May Light near the southern tip of New Jersey. I was visiting my brother-in-law who has a place in Wildwood and took my nephew out before dawn to shoot the lighthouse with the sunrise in the background. I hadn't done any scouting beforehand (I know, this should be done whenever possible) and there wasn't a great angle to get both the lighthouse and the sunrise in the composition. Instead, I went out to the beach and was quite pleased with the scene of the lighthouse basking in the soft light of the sun against the blue of the dramatic clouds.

Path to the Beach

Wildwood, New Jersey

Happy Fourth of July weekend everyone! One of the best places to spend the fourth in New Jersey is to head down to the Jersey shore. Every year, thousands of people from the surrounding area (South Jersey, Philadelphia, New York and Delaware) head to Wildwood, NJ. Wildwood is a favorite summer destination that is home to one of the best beaches in NJ as well as a two mile boardwalk. The boardwalk has numerous amusement piers as well as tons of shops, arcades and food stops. Since I grew up in South Jersey, I have many memories of Wildwood. I still remember hearing the tramcar's annoying "Watch the tramcar please" warning as it tried to weave through the crowded boardwalk from one end to the other.

I don't get to visit Wildwood much anymore since I live in Connecticut, so I instead, I am posting this image that I took a couple of years ago of one of the paths to Wildwood's beach. I'm sure it won't be deserted today.

Click to learn more about Wildwood.

The Jersey Shore and Dad Remembered on Memorial Day

Wildwood, New Jersey

I grew up in a small town in New Jersey right outside Philadelphia. We lived about an hour from Atlantic City and an hour and half from Wildwood and Beach Haven. My early recollections of my grandparents were that they loved to fish in Little Egg Harbor, year round. My father had the same love of the Jersey shore and he religiously packed me and my four brothers along with Mom into the station wagon every year to visit either Beach Haven or Wildwood. On this Memorial Day, my thoughts are of my father and how much I miss him. I don't know much about his experiences in the armed forces (he never talked about it) but I know he was in the Army Air Force and was a gunner flying over Europe. When I think of the things he loved, the Jersey shore always come to mind. To honor him, I am posting this shot of an empty lifeguard station on Wildwood beach. I was staying at my brother-in-law's place (who also has a love of the Jersey shore) and I had promised my nephew Danny to take him out shooting. I don't think he realized that I meant getting up before dawn to get the nice light. Anyway, I think Dad would have liked this shot.