Days of Bay Gone By

I would be remiss in launching a photography venture with a focus on the Chesapeake Bay without mentioning the incredible photographers who have provided inspiration for my work - Marion Warren and A. Aubrey Bodine.  While I typically shoot color photographs (and these two are known for black and white photos), it’s their subject matter that continues to captivate me to this day.

Through their photos, both captured a period in the Chesapeake’s history that is all but gone - one with working skipjacks bulging with oysters, old crab houses with barrels of hot steaming crabs and deadrise workboats lined up in ego alley in Annapolis (yes, unbelievably there were actually workboats in Annapolis - and not that long ago).

Sure, some of those things do still exist, mostly in the far corners of the Bay in places like Shady Side and Crisfield.  However, each of these photographers truly capture the flavor of the working Chesapeake through their photos.  As you browse through their collections, you can almost smell the aroma of steaming crabs or hear the watermen singing as they cull oysters.  The photos literally transport you back in time.


Marion Warren, probably the best known of the two, has an extensive body of work consisting of over 100,000 black and white negatives and prints.  His work is featured in many publications including Bringing Back the Bay, which focuses on the Chesapeake Bay and its people.  If you live in or have visited Annapolis, you’ve almost certainly seen a Warren photo hanging in a restaurant or store.  To view his photos, visit his website

A. Aubrey Bodine (1906-1970), born and raised in Baltimore, is not only considered one of the most important photographers in Maryland, but in the entire region.  His photographs range from landmarks in the region such as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to crabbers to log canoes off of St. Michaels.  For a taste of his work, visit the site run by his daughter Jennifer or a number of museums, including the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Va.

30-November-2005 | Chesapeake Bay