Thursday, July 23, 2015


Crane Beach, MA (May 1, 2005)

A variation of the photo above became very popular years ago, in the age of Myspace, before Facebook was yet a thing. The image was posted on my old photoblog, with this same title, and Google Images was very fond of linking it. As a result it was hotlinked by a multitude of angsty teenegers, attracted by its "blue" mood and introspective atmosphere. It almost crashed my server.

Jennifer at Crane Beach
The person walking in the ocean is Jennifer, my photo-buddy at the time, which I mentioned in a previous post. As local Ipswich resident +Hong Zhang recently reminded me, Crane beach is beautiful at any hour, but at sunset is quite special. For most of the year the sun sets across the Ipswich river estuary, behind the peninsula west of the beach. If you are in the right spot, the sun is hidden from view as it disappear behind the curvature of Earth, and its reddened light is blocked by the houses and trees of Ipswich. Once the red rays of the setting sun are removed, all is left are the indirect blue lights diffused by the dome of the sky. As a result, Crane beach at sunset is the apotheosis of the blue hour: the sand acquires the same deep blue color of the ocean, and the only feature separating the solid and liquid elements is the thin line of azure foam eternally moving in the constant tug-of-war between land and sea. We could best take advantage of this natural wonder off-season, when we could park the car at Castle Hill and then walk down to the beach, the only way that would allow us to stay late without the risk of being trapped in the main parking lot. We would then roam on the cold wet sand, until the after hours, capturing the magic of the place in the blue twilight of the early night. It was always worth it.

Crane Beach, MA (March 19, 2005)

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