I’ve mentioned before that Jon and I are trying to improve our photography skills, and I hope you’ve already noticed improvements to the pictures here on the blog. We’ve been quietly upgrading our equipment and techniques, and have been getting some hands on help from a pro. But, aside from all that, there’s nothing that’s going to boost your skills as effectively as getting outside and taking photos. And so, for an afternoon of practice in a golden sunset, we headed to Belford, a small coastal community in New Jersey located across the lower bay of New York. This teeny tiny fishing area is beyond a small, overlooked parking lot, easy to miss if you’re headed to the bustling NYC ferry that launches next-door.
The challenge with this location is the sheer number of things in every setting. You’ll see in the photos below, but there were boats, piers, and just stuff everywhere, so while I rather enjoy getting up close with my subjects, it was still quite hard to isolate things.
I’ve added descriptions and thoughts below most photos. Check out the collection below!
The Trisha Marie greets you at first arrival.
A Celtic cross screwed to a nearby telephone poll, perhaps for good luck, protection, or in memory of someone lost.
Heavily used ropes piled all over the docks. Good texture.
The Trisha Marie meets the Phyllis Ann. Both ships had colorful, hand-painted names.
Jon doing some portrait practice. You can see that the light was flat and cool here.
Proud seabird atop a lookout.
Startled birds on a wire. I was trying to photograph them sitting all in a row when suddenly they all started flying away. I got this picture instead. You can see how low the tide was here, with all the muck and mud.
Very friendly signage encouraging us to continue our walk. Basically as soon as we arrived, we encountered these signs, and you’ll see why in a second…
You want me to walk on what? On that, rickety pier?
Here I go! Looks very secure.
Made up of what looked like salvaged pieces of wood and scrap material, this pier wasn’t exactly winning any awards for safety. But after a moment’s hesitation, I realized that the fishermen were likely huge burley men, heavy and carrying gear, and so I ventured out. At least if I fell through I’d only have a 6 foot drop into the silty mud.
Barnacle encrusted crab traps.
Jon photographing a red fishing boat.
Discarded ropes and nets in piles.
Seen in the tall grass: an old launch and an elaborate slide from a swing set.
Low tide revealed debris and animal tracks. It surprised me how much trash and garbage was hanging around the shore.
Tall grass up close. The wind was pretty strong, so it took me a few shots to get all my settings correct on this one.
Sun setting behind an old boat with peeling paint. I like how the light halos the outline of the boat.
Posing in the good light.
The sky above the marsh.
We then walked to the ocean to a nearby seawall where the NYC ferry births. The entire landscape changed dramatically.
The above photo is easily my favorite from the day, shot on top of the sea wall. The colors are completely unexpected. The ground in this one location was orange, unlike the sand across the rest of the sea wall and combined with the ocean and sky, made a very tranquil, desert-like setting. With the sun going down behind me, it proved to be an entirely different picture at my back.
I think taking photos of Jon taking photos might be my new hobby…
Another favorite. I guess sometimes it’s good to look away from a sunset.
Soaking up the warm sun.
The sun setting over the fishing boats.
Portrait with my furry hood.
Crescent moon and sunset.
And that is the end of a very successful afternoon of practicing photography. I learned some new things, worked on adjusting my exposure for the sky, and found some interesting subjects. I hope you liked the photos and thanks for taking a look!
Parka Style Coat by Zara