Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I grew up on Cape Cod, MA and still have family there, so I visit frequently. As a result, I've spent a lot of time exploring beaches with my camera.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the abundance of glossy postcards of Cape Cod beaches, it can be challenging to take a good picture of a beach. The beauty of the beach is not just visual, it's also about the hot sun on your shoulders, the sound of the waves, the smell of salt water and coconut sunscreen, and frankly the excitement of being on vacation. None of which will get recorded on my camera's memory chip or film, although a good picture can evoke them.

This post is taking too long to write, because I keep getting myself sidetracked into unproductive rants and rambles. So, to make a long story short, one of the most valuable things I've learned is the difference between pretty (or even beautiful) and photogenic.

There are plenty of things which are pretty, but not necessarily photogenic. An open strip of sand with a clear sky and calm ocean, while pretty in person, is not necessarily photogenic. It actually tends towards boring photographs.

reflection posts water cape cod massachusetts beach

And I firmly believe that there is plenty in the world that is deeply photogenic, but not at all conventionally pretty. And this is the area that I'm drawn to; finding something interesting to see and capture on film (well, memory chip, now) even when the subject isn't conventionally pretty, or at least to find a different, interesting side to a pretty scene we've seen on a hundred postcards.

All of the photos in this post are from a mucky little beach, with rocky, dusty sand and tiny swimming area in an opening in the marsh-grass. But I've been going back there for years, always expecting that I'll eventually run out of pictures. And I haven't yet. The light on the marsh is different every time I go -- and the marsh grass itself is different in every season -- there's a long boardwalk that lets me change my perspective -- and a small boat dock for added interest. I doubt anyone considers it the most beautiful beach on Cape, but it's been an incredibly photogenic place for me.


BlossomingTree said...

Your photos are beautiful. After reading I feel the need to visit a beach and soon lol.

Bellastar1117 said...

I love the Cape and I'm there often. Thank you for helping me "see" what you see.

Barbra said...

After 30+ summers on the Cape,your photos bring back wonderful memories.Thanks♥

woolies said...

sigh I miss the ocean, Cape Cod, Jersey shore.....anything Atlantic.
Great pics. !!!
I swear I need to hire a professional photographer. My pics just are the pits.