An all-reclusive vacation, Part 1

Yes, you read that right, an all-reclusive vacation. Considering I have been sick the last four days my vacation week turned out to be a dud. Oh well, there’s really not much I can do about that, I guess. I’ll just have to move on and go about my daily duties on Monday and try not to look back too much.

Of course not looking back is a little more difficult when you have a slew of photos to sift through. Taking a quick glance at them, I find that the photos I did manage to shoot aren’t helping my cause any. I had this grand idea to take a short drive to Assateague Island to shoot the “wild” horses on the beaches. It’s right around the corner from Ocean City, Maryland where there are plenty of inexpensive hotels, especially after Labor Day. I told my wife it would be an easy drive and at the least we’ll be able to have dinner by the shore for at least one night. She was hesitant but agreed it could be a decent quick getaway.

As unusual at it sounds, considering I live in western Pennsylvania, I have never been to Ocean City Maryland. It seems like EVERYBODY around here goes there at least annually. I really had no desire, it’s just not my thing. I prefer secluded over crowded when it comes to beaches and a little more dynamic when it comes to cities. So it never crossed my mind. But I have always wondered about Assateague and I thought it would be a good photo-op.

To make a long story short, the trip there was an easy six hour drive and we got an inexpensive room right on the boardwalk at the top rated hotel. The boardwalk was everything I imagined and although my wife likes it since she grew up around boardwalks on New Jersey shores, I just don’t feel it as much. But it was pleasant enough to walk on during the evening. Just too many people for my tastes, which probably attributed to my down fall. Anyhow, dinner was great and we settled in for the evening since I planned to get up early enough to take the long ten minute drive to Assateague before sunrise.

My wife, Cathy, doesn’t normally like to go on my early morning photo jaunts but she decided to ride along with me and I’m glad she did. I enjoyed the accompaniment. We pulled into the island park while it was still dark and it was a little tough to maneuver since I didn’t really know where I was going, nor where I would find any horses. But as I was driving into the entrance the shadowy figures of about a half dozen horses standing next to the road made it known that they were there….somewhere. That and blobs of manure on the road that I had to dodge  😉

Since I don’t get to take too many seashore sunrise photos I thought I would find a beach parking lot and try a few shots until the light brightened up enough to go horse hunting. As soon as I got out of my car to grab my tripod in the trunk I realized I was going to have problems. The humidity and mosquitos were both relentless. I kind of expected both but it just seemed magnified when I was there. And the photography became a constant battle of wiping of lenses and wiping off my dripping face. Throw in the fact that I’m wasn’t really prepared equipment-wise to be taking on such projects (no ND, gradient filters, wide lens selection, etc.), I knew things just wouldn’t go good.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

This shot is typical of the lousy photos I started taking from  that point on. The “thing” in the air is, I’m guessing, a mosquito in flight as it was buzzing around the camera. The image has a weird “haze” to it as I was constantly trying to clean the lens and shoot before it fogged up again.

I’ll continue on later in the week when I’m feeling a little more energetic and after I had time to process some photos.


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