Life on the Shore

Erin and I are settling in to our new life here, and when we’re just about settled it’ll be about time for me to head to Montana for the following six month fire season!  I took a job recently with the West Yellowstone Smokejumpers who are located a stones throw from Yellowstone National Park, so I know where i’ll be spending my rare days off this summer.

We’ve been having a great time since arriving, and it was defiantly the right move although we’ll be apart a lot this summer.  I’ve been getting some work on the water with clams and oysters, and even a couple days of cutting trees for an excavation company here, which was great; I felt like a fish tossed back into water.  Our rental house is right on the beach in the little town of Cape Charles, and we’ve been spending an embarrassing amount of time taking walks around the area.  It’s helped reinforce the belief that an important factor in my happiness is to live in an area without many people.

I haven’t taken any photo trips per se since arriving home, but I have been slinking around with my camera every once in a while and have gotten a few photos worth sharing.  Below are some shots I’ve taken while experimenting with the combination of a slow shutter speed and deep depth of field, resulting in a strange effect that i’d best describe as blurred detail.  I’ve been having fun with it, and I think if I keep at it I could get something really special.


Gull_flapblurCanon 5d Mark iii, 300mm f/2.8 lens, 1/10 sec at f/45, ISO 400
Gull_feetCanon 5d Mark iii, 300mm f/2.8 lens, 1/8 sec at f/32, ISO 400
Gull_landingCanon 5d Mark iii, 300mm f/2.8 lens, 1/10 sec at f/22, ISO 400
GUll_MirrorwingCanon 5d Mark iii, 300mm f/2.8 lens, 1/15 sec at f/32, ISO 400
gullcrowdCanon 5d Mark iii, 300mm f/2.8 lens, 1/15 sec at f/32, ISO 400

Recently, Erin suggested that I get a calendar together for the coming summer tourist season, and after the wave of nausea passed I acknowledged that it was a good idea.  I’ve actually kind of gotten into it- documenting the human side of a place, not something i’ve really done before.  Below are a few photos I think might be calendar-worthy, but please let me know if you think otherwise.


BoatingCanon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/20 sec at f/8, ISO 400

Jason, Josh and I headed out to the Barrier Islands early one morning to wild-harvest oysters during the low tide.  Picture yourself about 7 miles out to sea on a sandbar covered with oysters, and not a person or really anything else in sight.  I was pretty much in heaven.


Boat_brokenCanon 5d Mark iii, 70-200mm f/4 lens, 1/10 sec at f/8, ISO 100

There’s an area of marsh near the town of Oyster that’s dotted with the wreckage of old skiffs from a time when the town was more of a going concern and there were far more watermen around.


Jason_swansCanon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/50 sec at f/5.6, ISO 250

Jason stands on the shoreline gauging the level of the tide as four Canada Geese fly, honking, overhead.


Swans_oysterCanon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/60 sec at f/8, ISO 250

A line of Canada Geese flies over Oyster harbor at sunrise, headed out to feed for the day.


Tracks_stormCanon 5d Mark iii, 50mm f/1.8 lens, 1/60 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400

The first fat drops of rain from a massive storm front dot a set of railroad tracks near Cape Charles.  About 50 feet behind me the tracks end at the edge of the sea.


And finally, a few more random shots.


Bird_loneCanon 5d Mark iii, 300mm f/2.8 lens, 1/500 sec at f/4, ISO 250
grassCanon 5d Mark iii, 300mm f/2.8 lens, 1/2 sec at f/32, ISO 400

To get this soft portrait of these8 foot grasses, I moved the camera sharply upward at the end of the 1/2 second exposure.


Canon 5d Mark iii, 300mm f/2.8 lens, 1/60 sec at f/4, ISO 400




Canon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/60 sec at f/8, ISO 400
Canon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/30 sec at f/8, ISO 250

The haul.  We each collected about a basket of oysters in 2 hours or so, though my basket was conspicuously less full than theirs.  Wild oysters go for about 25 cents a piece, so if you can gather 800 or so you’re doing ok, especially since the whole trip only takes 3 or 4 hours.



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