Cape May, New Jersey: A Lesson in Finding Overlooked Visual Treasures for your Photography Portfolio
It’s certainly true that are there are interesting and exciting subject matter for your camera wherever you turn and throughout your daily life; however, it’s also important to leave your comfort zone and travel to places with totally different subject matter and environments to provide you with new challenges. One such place is Cape May, New Jersey, the state’s southern most point of land jutting into the waters where Delaware Bay opens into the Atlantic.
As America’s oldest seaport resort, a visit to Cape May is like stepping back into time. The citizens of the town are proud of its heritage, which is why almost 600 Victorian-period buildings and homes have been preserved, resulting in the entire town being named a National Historic District. Stroll virtually any residential street and you’ll find elaborately designed and constructed Victorian homes, with their gingerbread trim on porches and gables and exteriors with extremely colorful palettes. On any other residential architecture, they would probably be garish, but on a Victorian home, the purples, pinks, bright blues and yellows, Burgundies and pastel greens seem to make perfect sense. It’s a wonderful opportunity to expand your architectural photography knowledge and experience.
The center of Cape May is equally quaint, with small shops and bistros, accented with Victorian as well as seaside architectural elements, and all accessible via a classic trolley. The nearby harbor and piers are where you’ll find traditional fishing vessels and many other types of ships. Exchange the typical street photography in your city or town for the activities occurring on the promenade along the town’s beautiful and popular beach.
Overlooking all is the famous 1858 Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May Point State Park. The lighthouse is still fully operational and continues to guide mariners safely along the Atlantic seaboard or as they enter or exit Delaware Bay. It is a prime location from which to photograph the Atlantic shore and Cape May and the surrounding area.
Cape May is a major stop for migrating birds; in fact, the Cape May Bird Observatory considers the area the bird migration capital of North America. Approximately 414 species have been documented since 2007, including kinglets, waxwings, warblers, tanagers, buntings, meadowlarks, flycatchers, wrens, woodpeckers and orioles, depending on the season. Many waterfowl are also common throughout the year: geese, swans, ducks, teals, loons, cormorants and Sandhill cranes. Raptor species can be great wildlife photography subjects and the Cape May area is where you’ll find osprey, kites, bald eagles, hawks, kestrels and falcons.
Cape May, New Jersey is a can’t-miss experience for every photographer, especially if you’re ready to be more creative with your image making. You shouldn’t go alone, however. Your best opportunity to discover the best subjects and scenes to shoot in Cape May and learn the digital tools that will make your images outstanding is to join Tony Sweet for the Cape May Digital Edge Workshop, November 30–December 3, 2014. This special learning experience is limited to just 5 photographers, so Tony can provide as much personal attention to each photographer during field expeditions and creative classroom sessions.
This is the workshop that goes beyond shooting with your DSLR; you’ll also learn how to be photographically creative with your mobile phone. Then, you’ll receive a full complement of instruction on RAW processing, workflow and the many digital tools available to you, including Photoshop, Nik Software plug-ins, Alien Skin, Topaz, Nik HDR Efex Pro, Perfect Photo Suite 7 and Photomatix HDR software.
You’ll be in great hands with Tony, as he is a much sought-after speaker and instructor in digital photography technology throughout North America. Not only is he an author of 5 photography books, but also he is a recognized expert in iPhone photography.
For more information, please visit http://tonysweet.com/workshops/location-workshops, or reserve your place immediately by emailing Susan Milestone at [email protected].
Photo copyright: Tony Sweet