About the photo on my ABOUT page

November 25, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

My sister-in-law, Linda, took this photo of me standing in the surf at Plum Island. I've done a lot of standing knee-deep in surf zones all over New England this past year. I often shoot with a very wide lens so getting close to my subjects (waves) is a necessity. I spend a lot of time just watching the waves roll in and break, trying to get a feel for the cycle and frequency of sets. When the time is just right, I'll chase an outgoing wave to catch the next one at just the right moment. In spite of all that observation and planning, I frequently get caught off guard or overstay my welcome and must make a hasty retreat. Sometimes my retreat is not quite hasty enough and, well, let's just say that I've done some seriously ugly gymnastics trying to keep the camera out of the water. I rented a splash housing once this past summer and it opened a whole new world of possibilities. Plus it was just great fun! (Important safety tip: Move the housing away from your head just before the wave breaks over you. My first few frames with the housing came with a nice lump on the noggin. Doh!)

Back to standing in the surf zone. While bobbing around in the waves can be exhilarating, there's something very special about having your feet not so firmly planted on the beach while surf tries to pull them out from under you. I love being in that not-quite-land, not-quite-water world.

We're all amazed at the power and violence of the ocean when a storm blows through, but I'm equally amazed at how calm things can be right along its edge. I've been to open-ocean beaches when the surf was barely one foot high. Considering the sheer volume of this body of water (321 million cubic miles!) as it sits in the low spots of a planet that spins at about 1000 miles per hour while traveling through space at 67,000 miles per hour, it's astounding that it ever sits still. Think about that next time you feel your toes sink into the sand as a withdrawing wave tugs at you.

P.S. The beaches are largely deserted right now and no where is it written that you can't stand knee deep in the surf after Thanksgiving. Do it!


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