Discovering photography has brought many gifts to me, but not any as treasured as the connection it gave my grandfather and I.
My grandfather was a special kind of guy. The kind people met and remembered. He didn’t have a big boisterous personality or a voice that carried. He was sort of quiet. But he smiled often, and he loved to make people laugh. He told the worst jokes, ones that if I repeated would fall flat, but his dry, corny delivery never failed to illicit a chuckle…or an amused groan. And he always had a camera with him. He took candids and posed us for portaits or took home video. I don’t know if there was a day I’d seen him without his camera.
Until I was in my late twenties and had discovered photography for myself, I don’t remember having many long conversations with my grandfather. I loved him and was always happy to see him, but the 52 years and several hundred miles between us didn’t give us many shared interests or experiences to talk about. Once I picked up a camera, that all changed.
I have a very clear memory of a day when I had been visiting him in New York. It was a moment when the two of us had a true connection over our love of photography. I remember him being excited to show me the first camera he ever purchased, some 50 years before, which he still had in its original box. He shared with me the story how he’d scrimped and saved and walked right down to the store to get the camera the day it came out, handing over a whole week’s paycheck. How proud he had been to purchase that camera shown in his voice. I recognized the same delight that I felt when I realized how wonderful photography was. It was something we shared and maybe something I’d inherited from him.
Its a brilliant moment in my memory, this connection with my grandfather. A brilliant moment captured with a camera without a picture being taken.
I love you, Gramps.
Jack Howes, March 20th 1927 – March 6th 2011
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Often considered the heart of the park, Many Glaciers, in the north east quadrant of Glacier National Park, feels like stepping back in time. With towering mountains, active glaciers, wildlife and beautiful waters, the area is stunning and populated with deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, grizzly bears and smaller mammals and birds. Hiking trails, wooded campgrounds, winding drives and historic buildings add to the fun to be had here.
Many Glacier Hotel is located on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake in Many Glaciers. The original portion of the hotel, the center, was constructed from 1914-1915. By 1917 both annexes had been built. The hotel has been remodeled and cared for since, but the original purpose and style remain. The hotel was designed to mimic accommodations in the Swiss Alps, both inside and out.
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The J. P. Cunningham Cabin in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming was built in 1888 by John and Margaret Cunningham.
Fun Fact: Two Montana wranglers approached Cunningham in the fall of 1892 to purchase hay. Cunningham allowed the strangers to winter on his ranch. Rumors spread that the men were horse thieves. Next spring, a man claiming to be a U.S. Marshal, with three deputies, rode into Jackson from Idaho. Joined by Jackson recruits, the marshal’s men surrounded the ranch at night. In the morning, the posse gunned down the alleged thieves. The men’s guilt, the allegations and the marshal’s identity were never confirmed.
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A selection of photographs taken in the pre-dawn light while in Wyoming, 2011.
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The biggest silver lining of an incredibly cold (by Maryland standards) winter is how beautiful the Chesapeake Bay is when covered in ice.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Chesapeake Bay, Cold, Eastern Shore, Evening, Frozen, Ice, Maryland, MD, snow, sunset, winter | Leave a Comment »
Maryland generally has mild winters. We don’t get much snow and it doesn’t stay much below freezing for long. Having had two arctic freezes come through in the past month, Maryland is currently well below freezing, icy and snowy. And what better time to photograph the sunset than during an arctic blast, right?
I spent an evening at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge here on the eastern shore. It was a brisk 20° with a lovely windchill of 9°. Flocks of sparrows tweeted and flitted about, swooping from spot to spot to forage for food. The birds would rise as one from one area to land a stone’s throw away for only moments before moving to another spot until they found an area worth foraging. Shivering and giving myself a stern talking-to over having forgotten my gloves at home (photographing with bright red and painfully cold hands is no one’s idea of a good time), I had to appreciate how much energy the sparrows must burn to keep warm. Note to self: keep bird feeders full to help these little guys out.
There were Great Blue Heron’s on the ice, though fewer than during other seasons.
Outnumbering both the herons and the sparrows were the geese– a seemingly unending number of them arriving in small groups to join the larger ones.
There were also a few bald eagles to be found, which always makes my visits to Blackwater special…
Evening during the coldest weather, there are areas on the Eastern Shore that showcase how vibrant and alive Maryland is.
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March in Maryland is cold and dreary and at the end of what is, to me, a really long and bleak winter.
I wasn’t getting much inspiration, so I decided to embrace the world of Instagram for the month of March.
I also spent a good amount of time drawing in my studio. Judging by both my photographs and my art, I may be a little morose by the end of winter.
Zombie Bunnies. My dear friend had been telling me how hallucinatingly tired he was from his travels.
Sometimes I turn my friends into cartoon characters
My month-by-month 2013 year in review is convincing me I need to get out more during the winter months.
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