Children Bobbing for Apples

Posted by & filed under Children, Lifestyle.

Children bobbing for Apples

Apple bobbing is an annual autumn event at my house.  I invite some friends over, I mean unsuspecting models, so they can plunge their faces into the water and reach helplessly for a red orb with their teeth. I just had to see what was happening inside that bucket!

The only way I was going to get inside this pail is to become the size of an apple, or my camera is.  Because I cancelled my photography insurance policy and the gaskets on my camera are not waterproof, I needed a different approach.  Instead I built a custom glass aquarium measuring 30”x30”x16” tall.

Supporting the tank above the ground, I use concrete blocks at each corner.  My camera is placed underneath the tank and tight up against the glass to avoid any reflections. Black cloth is spread out on the patio deck to stop any reflections of the deck into the tank too.

I have one strobe for side lighting – to add shape and contours to the apples, and I have another strobe high above the tank to achieve some rim lighting of the snorkelers and add specular rays.  All these strobes are set off by a fill light strobe pointing straight up into the tank.

The biggest challenge is to convince folks not to breathe out while under the water – the millions of backlit bubbles are a nightmare to contend with.

Every year the kids always have a great time laying under the aquarium watching friends and family squirrel they faces into unforgiving knots.

For more images of people taking the plunge visit my website

New Jersey Tallship A.J.Meerwald

Posted by & filed under Lifestyle, Sailing.

 

 

New Jersey A.J. Tallship Meerwald

For my latest pictorial book “Our New Jersey” I had the privilege to photograph a true state treasure, the A.J. Meerwald.  It was an opportunity to join the crew and experience what it is like to sail on the high seas of the Delaware Bay in an authentically restored 115 foot, 65 ton, 1928 oyster schooner.

Being a true landlubber through and through, the challenges of photographing on a rolling ship proved difficult.  Thankfully Captain Jesse kept a close eye on me as I grabbed for the main sail between pictures.

His crew are enthusiastic caretakers who proudly display their incredible skill of turning the ship on a dime, all to the whims of a demanding photographer.  For more of my images aboard visit my site

For anyone wanting to sail back in time to the turn of the century, I would highly recommend you weigh anchor and journey to a place where the shipbuilding industry in South Jersey was once a mainstay of the local economy.

A little history:

The Meerwald was one of hundreds of Delaware Bay schooners that worked the region’s oyster industry. She is listed on the National and New Jersey Register of Historic Places, and in 1998, Governor Christine Todd Whitman signed a bill officially declaring her New Jersey’s Tall Ship.

The ship was built by Charles H. Stowman & Sons in South Jersey specifically for dredging oysters from the shallow Delaware Bay.  It’s new role as an educator, the Meerwald sets sail seven days a week to instruct school children and adults on the culture, maritime history, rich natural resources and environmental challenges of New Jersey’s coastal waters.

The future of the Estuary is in the hands of our young people. The Bayshore Discovery Project creates a legacy of stewardship through diverse, intellectually vigorous education programs. For more information, visit http://www.ajmeerwald.org/

Horseshoe Crab Migration in New Jersey

Posted by & filed under Delaware Bay, Horse Shoe Crabs, Landscapes, Wildlife.

Horeshoe crabs breeding on the Atlantic Coast, Delaware Bay, New Jersey

For many years I’ve been attempting to create an image of the Horseshoe Crab Migration in New Jersey, a mating ritual that predates dinosaurs.  Closely related to the spider family, these crabs crawl out of the frigid waters of the Delaware Bay and onto New Jersey beaches once a year to lay their eggs.  This event only happens at a very specific location on the planet, at a very specific time.  Anticipating the correct moon cycle, high tides, time of sunrise, and cooperative weather, are important elements in making this photo-op possible.  The challenges of combining intriguing light, movement, and a sense of rhythm and pattern have led to many failed attempts in the past.

For more on my field notes and information on horse crabs, visit my website

Exploring the meaning of the sea in our lives, where time is marked by the ebbing and flowing of tides, I’m very proud to participate in the project  “The Sea Around You”; the  companion book to the “Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World” by scholar at MIT’s Earth System Initative, Deborah Cramer.