Losing Friends…..

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Let’s be clear. In this case we’re not talking about old school buddies, or fellow workers. We’re talking about photographic subjects. Yes, a photographic subject can become a friend of sorts. We’ve visited them many times, we know how they will look in different light. We see them change over time. They become a friend. Such is the case with the opening photo of this post. We knew there was a waterman’s shack hidden next to Dennis Creek in southern New Jersey. It was always concealed by the overgrowth of phragmites and other marsh grasses. The only visible sign was the top of the chimney and a bit of the roof. We passed this location for three years hoping to get a better glimpse, and an opportunity to capture her. Then in October of 2012 Superstorm Sandy came through. Shortly after the storm we were out surveying and passed the creek. There she was, exposed for us to finally gaze on her. She was everything we had hoped for. We quickly scheduled a morning to visit and shoot. We were blessed with a light morning fog. Our persistence had paid off.

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We visited many times after that, and sadly watched as she gave herself up to time and the elements. Photo 2 of this post is an artistic interpretation of our friend on Dennis Creek. Sadly she finally succumbed to the ravages of time and completely collapsed. Our friend is now gone, but we have the memory of the years of chasing and finally capturing her.

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The tiny community of Bivalve NJ was once the capital of the oyster industry in the New Jersey, Delaware Bay area. The oyster sheds there are now being preserved and rehabilitated into a learning and historical treasure. You can learn a bit more on the history of the sheds and the oyster industry at  The Bayshore Center. A couple blocks from the sheds sat The House of Jacob. This small church must have hummed with activity during the oyster heydays. I’ve heard stories of the sounds of tambourines and gospel singing flowing from her confines. Once again, as with other locations, we became friends with the building. The image above was created to show the power of the structure, even in its state of decline. It was sad to see this subject deteriorating, and we had heard of plans to save and restore her.

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Like many of our other friends, we just had to do our own interpretation. In this case, we have removed quite a bit of the detail and just show her as the stately symbol of worship that she was. The image is titled “Reverence”.

Sadly, last month we learned that rescue efforts would not continue and she was bulldozed. A less than respectful ending than what she deserved.

So my question today is, do you have some locations that have become friends? Locations that you tend to revisit? Locations that always seem to offer up good opportunities for images? If so, I hope that you realize what a good friend they are and that you appreciate them just being there to offer up those opportunities.

Yes, we continue to lose some old friends. They will live with us in our images, and our memories. Other friends will be made and we will continue on, but at least for today I can spend a few moments honoring a couple friends who have given so much of themselves to me.

Sorry for being so sentimental today. Maybe I’ve been cooped up too long. I hope I’ve given you something to think about for a few moments. I hope you will look creatively on your photographic friends.

Dave

My images galleries can be found Here

4 thoughts on “Losing Friends…..

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  1. I have three dear friends, one now gone. All are trees.
    The first was an old Cottonwood. She was on a river about an hour and a half from here. I used to visit her several times a year, climbing onto a broad low branch that hung out over the river. Then one day I went to visit and she was gone. I have no idea why. I can’t imagine she was cut down since other old beauties were still there. Perhaps she fell and then the stump was removed. I don’t know, but I was deeply saddened.
    The second friend is an Alligator Juniper on a small piece of land that I own. She is on a wash and apparently long ago she was undercut and fell over across the wash.
    But that fall saved her. Every other juniper in the area was cut down to use as firewood. Firewood hunters missed her.
    Half of her roots are still in the ground and she still grows. The other roots stick up into the air. I have known her now for nearly 30 years and visit her as often as I am able.
    I have recently become friends with a pine tree. She is not as majestic as the others, but she is not nearly as old. She was planted by my friend David who has now died. She must be about 50 years old. She’s in my front yard and I’ve decorated her with bird feeders. I have a birdbath and small statues beneath her. This one I visit with every day.

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