© 2013 Kevin Ames. Carrying my camera with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, I happened upon a dinghy in the back yard of a beach house on Madaket beach on Nantucket. I climbed the stairs to the back porch then leaned over the railing to make this photograph. The land flows into the distance before becoming beach that transitions into the waves. The ocean seems a long way away. Lens: 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM | Focal Length: 30mm | Shutter speed: 1/50 sec | Aperture: f8 | ISO: 100
© 2013 Kevin Ames. Walking along that beach a few years later, the ocean quietly reminded me of its relentless, passionate force. Storms over recent seasons have eroded this once well populated area along the island’s southern shore. The house on whose porch I stood to photograph the dinghy had been raised off of its foundation and moved behind it. The owners of the home told me the small boat had been set in the yard as a decoration. Lens: 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM | Focal Length: 24mm | Shutter speed: 1/20 sec | Aperture: f5.6 | ISO: 400
© 2013 Kevin Ames. Homes that could not be relocated were lost to the advancing fury of the sea. Last winter, I walked the beach again. The sun was up. The wind whipped along the sand. Waves slapped against it. I came up on a debris field. It started simply enough—a running shoe partially buried; resting against a timber. Lens: 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM | Focal Length: 24mm | Shutter speed: 1/100 sec | Aperture: f8 | ISO: 100
© 2013 Kevin Ames. Further along a small roughly formed pyramid emerged from the sand. A closer look reveals it’s a magazine remolded by the waves. Lens: 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM | Focal length: 70mm | Shutter speed: 1/100 sec | Aperture: f2.8 | ISO: 100
© 2013 Kevin Ames. The ocean destroyed the home’s walls. It tore away the roof, the foundation, everything. An electrical outlet attached to a shattered pair of two by fours is among the few structural parts remaining. Lens: 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM | Focal length: 24mm | Shutter speed: 1/160 sec | Aperture: f8 | ISO: 100
© 2013 Kevin Ames. Moving houses inland from the sea is the only way to save them as waves reclaim edges of the island. A timber in the foreground is all that’s left of one. Lens: 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM | Focal length: 51mm | Shutter speed: 1/125 sec | Aperture: f8 | ISO: 100
Devastation by nature creates a primal respect for her force. Being moved by what I see to crawl in the sand for striking angles to tell the story is part of being a photographer. While I photography beauty for a living; expressing the power of our world sometimes in its destructive garb is satisfying too. Art can be about motion, moving houses or how we feel when we view it. I’d love to know if this post moved you. All of these photographs were made with a 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens.
Read Moving Art Part II here.