For the past few years Tia and I have watched, and grown to love, Anthony Bourdain. His multiple shows crack us up while making us feverishly hungry at the same time. With a little down time this morning I finally watched his show on "New Jersey".
As I watched Anthony Bourdain eat clams in LBI I felt homesick in a way. True, I love both clams and LBI, but I miss the feeling a New Jersey summer can deliver. The smell of sausages and salt air as I walk down the boardwalk are perhaps one of the greatest aromas known to mankind. A faint call from a laughing gull screeching, begging for a french fry gives me tingles as I talk about it. I want that feeling back - even though summer is only a couple months away it will never be here soon enough. And before long, when the children head back to school, the summer is over once again.
I've known Mr. Bourdain was a fellow Garden Stater since we started to watch his shows. What I didn't know is just how much this episode would reinvigorate my love for the Jersey Shore. A lot of my work comes from beaches not many people would consider glamorous. It's true we don't have palm tree-studded beaches, but in my opinion we don't need them. To me, there's nothing more beautiful than where the ocean meets the sand. Simple yet plain - only a sunrise and a few seagulls are needed. At the right moment, just as the light touches the shoreline, it basks everything in a fiery glow. It's an image no amount of words can describe.
I've been to several islands in the Caribbean and to be honest they start to look exactly the same after awhile. Don't get me wrong; a tropical island with coconuts and a swaying hammock sounds great right about now (especially with more snow in the forecast!). But my New Jersey, the one with gorgeous beaches even in the dead of winter, will always captivate my soul. My love affair with New Jersey's coast makes me want to photograph it all the time. Regardless of the season I feel the Jersey Shore should be seen and appreciated by all, at least once.
I read somewhere that different beaches around the world have different sounds when the waves crash. Various factors like the type of sand on the beach, the height of the waves etc, all combine to create a specific sound. I've listened to recordings in different locations and it's true. A wave breaking in California sounds completely different than a wave crashing in Australia. When I'm in Seaside with my Canon 70-200mm lens I keep my eyes and ears open. Not only am I watching for sandpipers or terns, but I listen to the waves. Each wave can bring not only a calming sound, but a possible new addition to my shell collection. Just last October Tia found a dried seahorse on one of our trips to Island Beach. Who ever thought you could find a seahorse from a Jersey beach?
The idea of home, to me, is a where you feel the most comfortable. When I kick off my Crocs, grab my camera and walk the beach I'm as comfortable as can be. It puts me in a certain frame of mind, an ease of euphoria washes over me. When that happens I don't consider taking photographs a job; I consider it a privilege. And if you ask me it's the ultimate work-from-home job in the world.
Washed Ashore Photography