Category Archives: Photo Projects

Sahara Dust Cloud Was A Bust

On the beach – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

The ominous sounding Sahara Dust Cloud passed through Charlotte over the last few days, including (I guess) today.  Yesterday afternoon was really hazy and smoky-looking, but it didn’t present the vibrant sunset that had been predicted.  Supposedly the sunset on Friday was pretty colorful, but that might or might not have been a result of the dust.  I was inside a restaurant having dinner anyway, so I can’t say.  Things look pretty clear outside now, dust-wise, although it is pretty cloudy.  The afternoon will show if there is any remaining dust in the air, and an air quality alert is in effect until midnight.

Happy Sunday!

Dinner Out With Friends

On the beach – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

We survived our first mask outing last evening, not that we expected anything different.  We went to a local seafood place with some friends/neighbors and had a nice time.  It was only our second meal out from home, and it was nice to “test the waters” some more.  One thing’s for sure – it really clarifies the difference between cooking and eating at home and restaurant food, especially in terms of price and portion sizes.  It’s a reminder to keep the restaurant outings to a minimum!

I have four of these little vignettes that I’m planning to post through Tuesday – still drift fences (sorry) but a slightly different view – then I plan to end the post-a-day routine.  It’s been fun but it’s time for a break, so I’ll get back to my not-quite-daily occasional posts. 😉

Time To Join The Crowd

Drift fence shadows on the beach in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Read on another blog earlier today:

“Wearing a mask is NOT a political statement. It’s an I.Q. Test.” 

Needless to say, that’s a little harsh.  Until now I’ve resisted the mask thing, but now our Guv’nor says we’re going to have to wear them for a while.  Despite my resistance I do believe in the science.  I’m just…stubborn.  Fortunately we don’t go too many places where it’s an issue, so it won’t have a huge effect.  Interesting how it’s easier to accept something when you’ve been told you need to do it, instead of just having it “recommended.”

Photo is another one of  those irresistible drift fences on the beach.  Sigh…. 😉

All Good Things….

Drift fence shadows on the beach in Hilton Head Island, South Ca

We’re headed back to our home base today, after a refreshing week at the beach.  A little photography, lots of sun, sand and surf, and even a few dinners out made for a nice break from all the hoopla at home.  It sounds like we’re returning home for the possibility of a bit more pandemonium, but after a little break it will hopefully be easier to bear.

With luck we’ll be headed out again in a couple of weeks for Ohio and perhaps beyond.  We’ll see what develops during that time.  Trying not to look farther ahead than the next journey!

Wide Angle Fun

I have always loved the look of a wide angle lens but feel like I struggle to come up with wide-angle photos that I love.  I forced myself to carry my 10-24 with me yesterday afternoon, expecting to find some long shadows in the afternoon.  I was not disappointed!  It’s especially hard (in my opinion) to use a super wide focal length without a tripod, because it is virtually impossible to get the framing I intended.  Some of these came out OK!

Drift fence shadows on the beach in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Drift fence shadows on the beach in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Nice To Get Away

“Socially Distanced” Lifeguard

So far, so good with our little “experiment” of being away from home.  We visited our favorite Hilton Head restaurant yesterday evening, and it marked the return of their Wednesday night live jazz, which is main reason we like to go there on Wednesdays.  It’s “the beach,” so everyone is fairly relaxed anyway, and things aren’t a lot different now.  We’ve seen very few masks on the beach, but when we went to the grocery store about 75% or more of the people were in masks.  We’ve only been to three restaurants.  At two of the restaurants all of the servers had masks, while we haven’t seen a single guest wearing one.

Ominous clouds to the north due to a low pressure system off the coast

We’ve overheard and had several conversations with people about where they are from and how those places have been coping, but very little “hand-wringing” or negative talk.  It seems like most people are doing what makes them comfortable without a lot of judgement.  Although sometimes you hear a comments about “anti-maskers” or some such nonsense.

I’ve taken the camera to the beach at some point just about each day, although I have not tried to make photography my main goal.  I do think I’ve gotten some pretty nice shots, though.  And I’m learning more and more about how to make this new camera do what I want it to do.

Father-son fishing lesson

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Drift fence and grass, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Somehow I never get tired of walking along the drift fences and catching the shadows of the fencing and the green grasses growing up through the sand.  I sometimes feel like I’ve done too much of this, but then I end up seeing something new and different and off I go.  More of the same but never the same…almost like snowflakes!

There may be a few minor technical flaws in this photo, but given the vagaries of wind and shifting frame to to image stabilization, I like how this turned out.  Loving the juxtaposition between the grasses and the fence with the shadows behind.

We’ve All Got Our Baggage

Haulin’ It To The Beach

Kathy & I have tried to be very careful in our travels to not carry around too much – as we like to say it – ‘shit.’  To be polite I’ll call it ‘gear’ but the idea is the same.  Whatever our “thing,” there is a certain amount of gear that we all have to have with us.

If you are a photographer, your travel packing list has to include a certain amount of camera equipment.  If you are a cyclist, you need to have a bike or bikes, plus all the requisite tools, spare parts and clothes to suit your needs.  If you are a kayaker, the same applies.  Fishermen, metal detector-ers, sunbathers, surfers, the list goes on.  RV-ers and boaters – my heart goes out to you.  It ain’t for me, thanks.  Nothing like loading our Subie up with two bins for clothes and food, a cooler and a camera bag and heading off for parts known or unknown.

What triggered this conversation was watching endless people either carrying or pushing carts loaded with chairs, umbrellas, coolers, boogie boards, toys and other gear to the beach.  And it is even worse for those who come to the beach with kids!  It’s no wonder people have huge cars with car top carriers and luggage racks hanging off the back.  Too much gear!

Searching for that perfect spot

When we packed to come to the beach, we were feeling like we had over packed, but quickly realized that the majority of the extra stuff we brought with us wouldn’t be going home with us.  It was mostly water, food and adult beverages, to minimize trips to the grocery store.  When we go to the beach in the morning we take a small cooler with breakfast, water, iced coffee & tea and a beach bag with towels and reading materials.  And usually my camera.  That’s it!  We rent chairs from the life guard service, but it is our choice to pay a few dollars instead of carting chairs and umbrellas (not to mention buying them in the first place) from home and then to the beach and back every day.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  It’s just our choice to pay for the convenience.

Years ago we started to have a bug about living on a sail boat, but eventually realized that it wasn’t the sail boat the appealed to us but the idea of a life without all the extra gear.  We’re not completely down to the bare bones level, but we do tend to travel that way.  And we like that!

Everything But The Potty

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

Sandals on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

(With the appropriate attribution and apology to Mr. Buffett)

One of the podcasts I listened to yesterday afternoon was the latest on David DuChemin’s A Beautiful Anarchy.  In it, David talks about the concept of Gargoyles as it relates to the “demons” we face in our lives, mostly as they relate to our creativity, but also as they relate to the filtering of all the so-called scary stuff we read and hear about daily.

Kathy & I have recently been having discussions about the idea of the ‘boogieman,’ or ‘monsters under the bed,’ as it relates to all of the conflicting information flowing from all corners of the world, and the fact that all of this stuff sounds scary until you figure out whether it is real or just stuff that is made up to scare us.  My thoughts are percolating on this subject and I may have more to say about it as I give it some more time.  Suffice it to say that a lot if the stuff that we react to – even if it does happen to be true – is way too often irrelevant to our own circumstances and only stands to get in our way.


Along similar but different lines, we struck up a conversation yesterday with a family who happens to have reserved beach chairs to ours that was interesting.  She happens to be a news anchor for a television station in Youngstown, OH, and was remarking about how few masks they saw on people down here.  She said that in Ohio it was unusual for people to not be wearing masks and that she was surprised.  Yesterday we were at the beach from about 8:00am until about 6:00pm and saw a total of 4 people wearing masks, out of the hundreds we saw parading up and down the beach.  Now, those same people might still be wearing masks to  the grocery store, I don’t know.  And of course we’re all outside and the beach – except at high tide – is pretty big.  But still.  Things have appeared to be quite a bit more relaxed here, whatever the reason.  It’s been nice to be away from all of the boogieman talk.