Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bob's Camp, Union River Bay, August 1, 2010

Bob's Camp, Union River Bay
A lot of people in a wide range of tax brackets hereabouts have seasonal houses on a beach or lakeshore called camps. When I was growing up in Massachusetts they were called cottages, and my Estonian grandparents called theirs a summerhouse. Usually they are small, uninsulated, heated with a wood stove (if at all), and may or may not have electricity or running water. I have seen camps, however, which 90 percent of the population would consider luxurious year-round homes. To my mind, the owners of these places are missing the point.

Bob is an old friend of the family, and his camp is on the shore of the Union River Bay, a curious sort of ultra-tidal intermediary between the mouth of the Union River and Blue Hill Bay (which is itself an intermediary between the River and the Atlantic Ocean.) The shoreline near the camp is both rocky, with large outcroppings that capture lovely tidepools, and pebbly. I think the bedrock here is Ellsworth schist, a streaky, gray metamorphic stone. The flotsam is similar to what I find on the Island, with the exception of the teeny yellow snail-like shells. I don't know yet what they are, nor does Bob, which is surprising since he is much more knowledgeable about such things.

The top photo is the third  taken with the new tripod, and I think I'm getting there. The bottom one was the second photo. Still too processed for my taste, and I'm not sure yet if I like the arrangement. When I arrange odd-shaped items in a grid I'm playing with asymmetrical balance and shooting for a composition that keeps your eye moving but feels coherent. Lining things up by size or color pretty quickly takes the movement out and leaves a relatively static composition. I think I finally managed to throw this one just enough off-kilter...but I like the top one better!

Periwinkle shells, blue mussel shells, crab shells, whelk shells, sea glass, drift wood, birch bark, (kelp with coral-like growth?), feather, rockweed, barnacles, bone, unidentified crustacean piece, unidentified yellow snail shells, sea brick.


  1. Hello Jenn S,
    I live on the opposite end of the US from you, in San Diego, Ca. I am on an island called Coronado, which is only about 15 miles from the Mexican border at the Pacific ocean. I have always wanted to visit Maine, and your photos and descriptions make it even more so. My husband is also a Landscape Architect, and we enjoy art, gardens and design. I really connect with your desire for balance and a good composition, and always enjoy a bit of "wonky" thrown in for good measure :o) Very nice work!
    x, Val

  2. Thank you, Valerie - I looked up Coronado Island, and it looks heavenly! What beautiful sandy beaches. A new entry on my (very long) Places-to-Visit list.