Dec
11

On the Cover

The current issue of Save the Bay magazine - the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s quarterly publication, features a photo of a snowy egret (Egretta thula) I captured on Hoopers Island, near Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.  Snowy egrets, common to North America and found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from Maine to Texas (and inland along major rivers and lakes), feed on small fish, frogs and crustaceans. They are one of the many beautiful wading birds found along the shores of the Chesapeake. Learn more about the snowy egret.

Save the Bay Magazine

Thanks to the Foundation for featuring my photo. They continue to do great things for the Chesapeake - from education to advocacy. Learn more about the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and this outstanding publication.

11-December-2012 | Chesapeake Bay | 0

Oct
02

Scotty Boy

One of the most compelling things about photography is the story behind each photo.  Sometimes it’s the story of how the image was captured. Other times it’s the story of the person, place, event or thing in the photo. Whatever the case, it’s as much about stories as it is getting “the shot”.

I’ve been lucky to get over to Smith Island in the heart of mainstem Chesapeake Bay to do a little paddling and try to grab some photos that capture the flavor of this uniquely Chesapeake place. One photo I got was of an old crab scraping workboat called “Scotty Boy” docked in Ewell on Smith Island. This particular boat drew my attention because you could just get a sense of the hours upon hours that this boat has been used to harvest crabs on the Chesapeake.

Recently, I met with fellow Bay photographer Dave Harp, who frequents Smith Island. He produced a fantastic little video about David Laird - longtime Smith Island waterman and the owner of Scotty Boy - that really gives you a sense of place and tells his story.

I hope you enjoy!

02-October-2012 | Chesapeake Bay | 0

Oct
17

Access

The usual reaction I get when I tell people I work for the National Park Service is "wow, you must get great access to parks". The assumption is that I get special access to parks when I’m out shooting photos, but this is not the case.  In actuality, I have no better access than any other photographer looking to capture Bay scenes.

In fact, like others, I’m left to negotiate the disappointingly limited public access found around the Chesapeake Bay. More specifically, public access on the western shore of the Chesapeake (where I live) is very limited for those who don’t own either a boat (in my case I own a kayak) or own waterfront property. In my neighborhood, where I literally live less than a mile in every direction from water, almost every single access point has a no tresspassing sign or even locked gates "protecting" access points in some cases. Anne Arundel County, home to Annapolis and parts of Balitmore, has an incredible 534 miles of shoreline - but only two public boat ramps to serve the public. These limitations don’t only impact photographers like myself, but anyone else wishing to experience the Chesapeake.

Fortunately, increasing public access is an issue that is a core part of the Bay restoration movement - and one that some of my work colleagues are focusing on. While I don’t personally advocate for government intruding on land owner rights, I do hope that some waterfront property owners will feel compelled to donate (or sell) their property so that more public access points can be created. And that solutions can be found to build new access areas closer to people’s homes, rather than having to jump into a car and drive to a park.

All is not lost however. There are some fantastic opportunities found throughout the Bay region to access and experience the splendor of the Chesapeake - places like Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center. Last time I visited Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge (near Rock Hall, Md) I saw over 25 bald eagles, while paddling around the island.

Get out and explore!

17-October-2011 | Chesapeake Bay | 0

Sep
17

The Passing of a Bay Icon

ME WarrenIt was with great sadness that I learned this week of the passing of perhaps the Chesapeake’s finest photographer, Marion Warren. With over seven decades of photography (his first camera being purchased in late 1930’s), his portfolio consists of well over 100,000 photos from a variety of genres. However,  his remarkable body of work will be best remembered for the iconic images he captured of the Chesapeake Bay, its people and traditions.

As I mentioned in an earlier post titled ‘Days of Bay Gone By’, I wrote about how Marion’s work so tangibly captured a period in the Bay’s history that its nearly impossible to study a Warren print and not be transported back in time. His work will continue to captivate people for many decades to come, especially as the time period that he so eloquently captured, fades away. We’re very fortunate in the Chesapeake region to have had someone of his talent and vision to document the working Bay.

Unfortunately, I never had a chance to sit down with Marion and talk photography - and more importantly - thank him for proving inspiration for my work as well as the work of countless other photographers in the Bay region. And while it makes me sad to learn of his passing, it also warms my heart that his legacy will continue to inspire photographers like myself for many decades to come. I’m sure he had to know this and it must have given him a great sense of pride. May he rest in peace.

17-September-2006 | Chesapeake Bay