This is one of my favorite diptychs of those that I recently printed. Actually, I took it last year in August or September 2008, but I did not think much of it when i first saw the contact sheet. It's sloppy compared to my usual ones, having been shot handheld. At the time I was trying to be more careful. For most of my 2008 shots I was using a nice wood tripod with geared head, keeping the horizon flat and swinging the camera a precise number of degrees to avoid overlap between frames.
But I left the tripod behind when my husband Lansing and I went to the beach in East Blue Hill with his sisters Heather and Nugget, and Heather's daughters. I took my Bronica RF645 and 65mm lens just in case. It turned out to be a bit too cool for me for swimming that day, so I took some pictures while the family hung out on the beach. I think Nugget did take a plunge, as she doesn't mind cool water.
This shot has a lot of elements I like in it. There's my husband and sisters in law at the far right, the dog in the left frame, the other beach-goers, the colorful beach gear and clothes speckled about here and there, the rocks, the sea the islands fuzzed out by light fog. The crazy horizon doesn't bother me as much now, it makes me think of how Andre Kertesz didn't seem to care about tilting the camera and yet his photos are all the more interesting because of the diagonals he created. I'm sure he was more deliberate, less haphazard than my shooting that day, but the same energy seems to liven up my image.
Lansing and I got to really enjoy Curtis Cove Beach this August. Now that we have a house in East Blue Hill village, the beach is less than a ten minute walk. We spent a lot of time painting the inside of the house, on some of the hottest days of the year, and the beach was a great relief. The water there is quite comfortable on a hot sunny day, as the tide comes in over the shallow sand, but cool enough to be like instant air conditioning if you are overheated. Hermit crabs and Green crabs skiddle around underwater on the sand, and schools of minnows come streaming by. If you walk or swim out a bit from the water's edge, you can still touch down on the bottom and watch osprey and gulls fly overhead,and if you look to the East you see the mountains of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island.
So perhaps my greater love of this beach makes me see more in the diptych above than is really there. Perhaps I am being sentimental in presenting it, when it deserves less attention than other land and seascapes I've done recently. But I still like it. I'm going to hang a 20x24" print of it in my new office in the B1 basement of Harvard's Northwest Sciences labs. It will help keep me sane, knowing I'll go back there soon.