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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
(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.
Kathy & I arrived in Hilton Head Island, SC yesterday for a week. Hilton Head is our absolute favorite beach destination and we love to come here as often as we can. There are other beaches that are “hoitier” and “toitier” than HHI but we find this to be just right for us. Beautiful beach, nice restaurants (when we want to eat out) and convenient grocery stores and other services.
Our rationale is that we’re going to live here for a week just like we would live at home…with a better view! We brought a supply of food so we can minimize our going out – just like home. Interesting so far that – other than one gas station just south of Columbia – we haven’t seen a single person wearing a mask. Take that however you want, but things are overall a bit more relaxed here than in the Big City. We are on Island Time, after all!
Oops. I spent all morning and most of the afternoon doing stuff and forgot to finish my homework! Here it is, a little late, and without any witticisms to accompany it. I doubt anyone will be disappointed. 😉
We took our first foray into the restaurant world last evening to celebrate Kathy’s birthday. It was a nice experience, not a lot different from what we’ve come to expect from our favorite restaurants, except the tables were farther apart, no one hugged and all the servers wore masks. It was our first restaurant meal since March 16, and between our travels and the Coronacrisis, it was our first time at this restaurant since Christmas Eve. We’re still not in a hurry to resume our normal visitation, but it was nice to see our friends.
This photo is one I took on our morning walk yesterday and it says several things to me. The new X-T4 handles dynamic range really well, and it has very little noise despite a lot of shadow and highlight adjustment. This was taken with the 23mm f1.4 prime lens. The in-body image stabilization seems to work really well with non-stabilized lenses – as advertised. In this photo, the lens exhibits very little flare and barely any chromatic aberration. The 23 has been my favorite prime, it works really well on the X-T4 and makes a nice walk-around lens.
One of my weekly routines is to go through the sale ad for our regular grocery store. It amuses me to look at some of the foods that are advertised and wonder who eats them. Today’s chuckle came from something called “Daily Crave Bourbon BBQ Quinoa Chips.” I mean, that doesn’t even sound good. I like bourbon, I like BBQ and I even like quinoa. But I don’t know about mixing them. ‘Quinoa chips’ must be another one of the ways that food companies destroy otherwise healthy food by adding stuff to make it taste good to people who don’t know what healthy food tastes like. I suppose you would wash those down with a Snapple. 😉