Feb 6, 2010

At Crane Beach

During my location scouting on Cape Ann this week I ended up at wonderful Crane beach. Crane beach is located near Ipswich north east of Boston. When I arrived I got hit with an unexpected hefty $7 parking fee. Although it was late in the morning and the light was not perfect I handed over the parking fee. It turned out to be well spent. The high tide was coming in and it looked quite different from what I remembered from the few family outings we enjoyed here over the past summers. At the beach I took a right and walked eastward along the shore. Parts of the beach had almost disappeared due to the high tide and the ocean water was already coming close to the dunes, leaving not much room for walking. When the sea receded I used the opportunity to run a couple of yards without getting my feet wet, long enough to keep me a little out of breath. Once I passed this part of the beach there was more room to walk and explore photographically. Shells were perfectly plastered into the beach sand, sand ripples were beautifully formed by the wind and yellow beach grass near the dunes was complementary to the blue sky. As often in my photographic outings I follow an intuitive approach and this time it led me into the dunes. There are lots of hiking paths through the dunes and the pine woods near the beach. Off one path I discovered this amazing nature setting of icicles formed in an approximately 6 square foot triangular area. I am still puzzled by how nature exactly created this but I assume the freezing wind and sun did their fair share. I worked this field of icicles for about 30 – 40 minutes but I am not sure if I really convey this little natural treasure in my photographs. From here I made my way back through the dunes where I came across a tiny evergreen just by itself amongst blackish shrubs. In order to bring out the green and black I decided to underexpose the image by ½ stop. The polarizing filter eliminated reflections on the shrubs and saturated the colors. The path then led me into the pine woods where I finally found a pine cone suited for an abstract close up that I had in mind for a while now. It was nicely lighted by the early afternoon sun and I adjusted my macro lens for a close frame of the pine cone. I tried different settings for depth of field and settled on maximum depth of field keeping most of the pine cone edges sharp. I again underexposed the image to not blow out the highlights of the pine cone edges. Once back at the parking lot I got rid of my snow suit and took the high road back home.