A Glow in the Fog

It has been said many times, “luck favors the prepared,” or something to that effect.  Such was the case this past weekend.  I love getting cool images in the fog.  Simple photographs are the most interesting and fog tends to blur or hide the details that make a photograph look too “busy.”

Fog tends to be fleeting, so you kind of plan for one shot in one location.  But where?  Hearing the forecast for thick fog in the morning, I posted a quick comment on Facebook asking my friends for ideas- where would make a good fog photo?  Tom hit the nail on the head… a lighthouse!  Cool- but which one?  There are three within easy driving distance of my house.  But only one of the three is still lit… Sandy Hook, NJ.

Up before dawn, gear ready, I got dressed and headed out the door.  Quick stop at the local coffee shop for some “go juice” and a donut and I was on my way.  Normally a 20 minute or so drive turned into 45 minutes in the fog- so thick I could not see the car in front of me.  And as I got closer to my target, the fog got thicker.  Sandy Hook is a peninsula or barrier “spit”… a sandy area about 6 miles long and between 0.1 and 1.0 miles wide.  It is known now for its summer beaches at the northern end of the Jersey Shore.  It has also been home to Ft. Hancock, an active Army Base in the last century, coastal gun batteries during WWII, nuclear tipped Nike missiles during the cold war, and an active Coast Guard base now… but the most enduring feature of Sandy Hook is its lighthouse.

The Sandy Hook lighthouse is the oldest, active lighthouse in the United States.  She still stands proud at the northern tip of the island, protecting mariners entering New York Harbor.  She was first lit in 1764 and was briefly under British control during the Revolutionary War.  She is a single white structure of 103 feet.  She originally contained a 3rd order Fresnel lens… she was automated in 1965 and has a continuous (non-flashing) white light.  Her keeper’s quarters are located right next door and is now a visitor’s center mapping and explaining all the lighthouses of the state of New Jersey.

Given all the history, how could it not be part of a great fog photo?… if I could get there.  Once on Sandy Hook, the fog was so thick I could barely see the front of my car.  The six mile crawl north to my target took most of my trip.  But arrive I did…

Sandy Hook Lighthouse, New Jersey

Sandy Hook Lighthouse in fog

… and she was spectacular.



Getting Back Your Mojo…

Sometimes you need a break.  Sometimes you’re given a break, whether you like it or not.  Divorce can do that to you.  Life changes have a way of forcing their will on you.  So it is that I took two years or so off from writing this blog.  I had such good intentions when I started it, but my life was in turmoil and I didn’t even realize it.  Family changes, job changes, address changes, and the addition of a new person in my life, along with time to heal and, well, I’m back!

With the ability to focus on my photography, it was time to get back my mojo and start making things happen.  I discovered that, at least for me, motivation is everything when you’re trying to make things happen.  OK, when it comes to mother nature, you don’t really make things happen- but, you can certainly be prepared for when they do.  Such is the case with this photo.

I’ve always wanted to get a shot of the waves breaking over the rocks during a sunrise.  It requires several elements.  For the location I had in mind, Avon by the Sea on the Jersey Shore, a normal high tide wouldn’t do it… it had to be an above normal high tide.  Well, with the Weather Service sending out “Beach Hazard Statements” about the rough surf, we had our waves.  Next was to time the arriving tide with a sunrise and decent weather… a nice marine layer of haze in the distance made for a beautiful sunrise this morning… and the late summer date meant I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night.

Some coffee and some luck, and I think I captured the power of mother nature…

Jersey Shore-3253-Edit

Waves crash over the jetty during sunrise in Avon by the Sea, NJ


… along with my mojo…

Inspiration… Waiting for Your Train

Creativity is sometimes fleeting.  The more you want to create something, in my case an image, the harder it is to even come up with an idea.  Such was the case recently.  You put pressure on yourself.  You look at other artist’s work (which is sometimes the worst thing you can do… they’re all so GOOD!).  Why can’t I make something good?  You start to doubt yourself.  You start to feel like you will never create another good image again.  Every artistic endeavor eventually experiences “writer’s block.”

I found myself near a favorite location in Belmar, camera in hand, and zero inspiration.  It’s a semi-industrial area, not necessarily “picturesque,” but certainly not devoid of image-making potential either.  There’s a marina full of boats, a river, a bridge, roads, train tracks.  I often shoot sunsets here where water meets land.  I walked under the bridge.  A train went by.

Ding!  That’s it!  It can happen just like that.  When you least suspect it.  When you’re not even trying.  (Actually, that’s always when it happens.)

If I could get the sun setting, under the bridge, when a train goes by, that would be really cool.

So, how to coordinate all this?  It actually took quite a bit of technology!!  The first step was to find out if I could stand somewhere and see the setting sun under the bridge.  I have software called The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) which provides you with just about any piece of data related to sun/moon rise/set times, the angle and height of the sun and moon at any moment on any day.  And it superimposes this on Google Maps.  It’s almost cheating.  So a few clicks and drags later, and I had a pretty good idea that around 8:05 PM the sun would be “under” the bridge if I stood on the corner, just off the railroad crossing.  Perfect.

Then off to my weather app.  A line of thunderstorms had moved through the area.  Would they be out of Belmar before sunset?  The weather radar says yes, it looks like they would… clearing skies behind the storms would give me my sunset.  Maybe even some nice colors.

Next, I needed a train.  I popped open my NJ Transit train app.  Yup.  The 7:56 PM train from Asbury Park to Bay Head would be in the area.  That’s the best I could do.  I had no idea if the train would be crossing that exact spot at precisely 8:05 PM.

Well, I’m here to tell you…. It does.


Sunset Crossing

Sunset Crossing – The sun sets under the Rt. 35 bridge while a NJ Transit train rolls by.


The other unknown, of course, was the condos in the distance.  The sun had to be above the roofs of the condos, but below the bridge.  It turns out there’s just enough room!

I had one shot at this picture.  Not only did the timing have to be right, but there’s no other train until well after the sun is gone.  So I mounted the camera on my tripod and waited.  As the sun dipped below the bridge and the colors in the sky began to turn, I could hear the familiar chime of the railroad crossing several blocks away… it was gonna be close!

Finally, the gates on the 7th Ave. railroad crossing came down and #2313 came rolling through!

Photo details: Nikon D800, 24-70mm f/2.8 lens @ 27mm, 1/5 sec. @ f/8, ISO 100.  Post processing in Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC.  (Click on the image for full size.)

When inspiration is at zero, and creativity isn’t happening, just clear your mind, have faith… and wait for your train.

The Monolith of Asbury Park

The Asbury Park boardwalk.  In one word, iconic.  About a mile of New Jersey history.  The Casino.  The Palace.  The Carousel.  The Paramount.  Tillie the Clown.  Convention Hall.  The Berkeley Carteret.  The Stone Pony and Bruce Springsteen.  Mrs. Jays.  The list goes on and on.  But there’s one building that almost never gets any mention.  One building that is just out of frame on so many famous pictures of the boardwalk.  One building that, as I walked along the boardwalk countless times in the last 34 years, was a mystery to me.  It stood, seemingly married to the Casino, a partner but still alone.  Lonely.  Dark.  Abandoned.  Forgotten.  Mysterious.  Long fenced off and closed to the public, it rises at the southern end of the boardwalk, behind the Casino and adjacent to Wesley Lake, like a monolith to the dark side of the history of the town.

The Steam Plant.

The east side view of the exterior of the central chimney.

The east side view of the exterior of the central chimney.

The History

Many of you know it as “the old steam plant.”  It is interesting how it doesn’t have an “official” name, so it’s always preceded by “the old.”  We don’t say, “the old Paramount Theater,” or “old Convention Hall”  yet those buildings are both older than the steam plant.  A remnant of technology long gone and forgotten, entering operation in 1930, it has been marking the southern end of the boardwalk for 84 years now.  In that time there have been fires, floods, hurricanes and superstorms, political and social upheaval, economic rise and fall, riots, wars, and shipwrecks at her feet.  Asbury Park has risen, fallen, and is rising again.  And still it stands.  Unchanged.  A monument.

The “icons” of the boardwalk had one major design flaw.  As Asbury Park struggled to compete with the likes of Atlantic City, and New York, the buildings on the boardwalk lacked a major convenience during winter… heat.

So, in the hope of attracting patrons all year round, in the late 1920’s Asbury Park Mayor Clarence E.F. Hetrick commissioned the steam plant.  Famous architects, and icons in their own right, Warren and Wetmore from New York, were hired in a very controversial no-bid contract to build the steam plant.  Of course, they designed the building to complement their other work on the boardwalk- the Convention Hall/Paramount and the Casino were also designed by this team in the Beaux-Arts style of the time (they also designed the Berkeley Carteret Hotel in the 1920’s).  Warren and Wetmore also claimed such accomplishments as the Helmsley Building, The Commodore Hotel, the NY Biltmore Hotel, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Grand Central Palace, and many more now historic buildings.  So, their pedigree and qualifications were a given.  When you look at the four buildings together, the design consistency is obvious.  In fact, the steam plant was an almost identical design to a library they built in Louvain, France with its tall, slanted tower.  And while classic now, one can see that they fit the 1930’s like a glove.  (Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the entire boardwalk was revitalized in this style?)

The Northeast view from the solarium.  The Casino to the north, the "inkwell" beach to the east.

The Northeast view from the solarium. The Casino to the north, the “inkwell” beach to the east.


This is the view of Wesley Lake from the roof of the Steam Plant.  I wish I could come back and take this when the light was better and the construction was complete.

This is the view of Wesley Lake from the roof of the Steam Plant. I wish I could come back and take this when the light was better and the construction was complete.


The original proposed location for the steam plant was to be adjacent to the municipal sewer plant on Eighth Ave., near the boardwalk.  But Mayor Hetrick saw a way for it to serve a dual purpose.  One must remember the era in which it was built… the 1920’s and 30’s.  “Things” were not as they are today, unfortunately.  Mayor Hetrick saw the opportunity to bolster his constituency a bit with the location of the steam plant and Casino.  Since the Casino originally extended onto and over the beach like Convention Hall still does, the steam plant’s location, shape, and size blocked the view of the beach to the south and east from the rest of Asbury Park.  It created a “private” beach that was designated “blacks only.”  This beach was nicknamed “the Inkwell” and was not visible from the “whites only” beach north of the Casino to Convention Hall.  As I said, times were different.  This was also convenient because the City of Asbury Park ran the steam plant and Casino, and Mayor Hetrick staffed both buildings with African American workers, further segregating them while also providing jobs.  Sadly, discrimination was alive and well in the 1930’s, as was political corruption.


So, in 1930, the steam plant became operational.  Little is written about it or what was inside.  And, at least in my research, it is not known how long it was in operation or if the equipment it started with was what it ended with.  As it was described to me, it had at least three massive tube-type boilers, approximately 20x8x15 feet each, covered in a silver material with brick and asbestos fireboxes.  The whole operation was fed by four fuel tanks adjacent to Wesley Lake (where the Casino parking lot is located now), each holding 15,000 gallons of “bunker” oil- so thick it needed to be heated just to flow from the tanks.  (Bunker oil is literally the bottom of the barrel in the oil refining process.  The only thing thicker, or cheaper, is the tar used in roads.  Thus, it was often used in large boilers in steam plants and aboard ship.)    I do not know if it used public water or siphoned water from Wesley Lake to fill the boilers and make steam.  I would imagine lake water would be risky as it could bring many impurities into the boilers requiring additional maintenance, expense, and down time.  But locating the steam plant next to the lake may have also given it a convenient source of water.  And I’m sure excess water was dumped right back into the lake.  The steam output of the plant was delivered in pipes that ran in a concrete tunnel adjacent to the boardwalk, from the steam plant north four blocks to the Paramount Theater and Convention Hall.  Along the way, the Casino complex, the Natatorium (a massive indoor pool, long gone) and other buildings received steam heat.

The Interior


If you look carefully near the bottom, center, you can see where the bunker oil supply pipes once entered the building.

If you look carefully near the bottom, center, you can see where the bunker oil supply pipes once entered the building.

Every time I walked by the building, I would wonder what the interior looked like.  How were the boilers situated?  How many people did it take to operate the plant?  When I entered the steam plant for the first time, I was amazed at how simple it was.  A central chimney was surrounded by what appeared to be three pads where the boilers were located.  A high, ornate ceiling, held the massive brick structure above.  The central chimney is huge and had to handle the thick black exhaust that resulted from the large boilers burning a dirty fuel.  With today’s environmental laws, there is no doubt that this plant, as it was, could not operate today.

As you descend the stairs, the chimney greets you, to the right.

As you descend the stairs, the chimney greets you, to the right.

The windows, once beautiful and ornate, are all boarded up, the glass long gone.  They were a similar style to what you see on the Carousel building today.  The chimney is still open to the sky and I could see faint traces of sunlight that made it from the top all the way down to below ground level.  The floor was dirt and partially wet.  The sound of dripping water could be heard, but considering the condition of the building, I was surprised there was not more water.  It did not even have a “musty” smell – no mold that I could see.  This may be attributed to some modern drainage as I could see white PVC pipes had been installed to carry water away.  Just the same, I’m glad to have been there on a somewhat warm day.  Around the back of the chimney, where the third boiler was located, a small trench was full of water and I was told this was frozen over during winter.

The back of the chimney where another boiler was placed.  Old winch or pumping equipment can be seen near the ceiling.

The back of the chimney where another boiler was placed. Old winch or pumping equipment can be seen near the ceiling.

In the back corner was a small area with the remnants of electrical boxes and other equipment.  I’m not sure it was big enough for someone to work in this area- possibly a storage or electrical closet.  Along the walls, the broken ends of cast iron pipes disappeared to a destination long gone.  One square opening was obviously where steam pipes sent winter warmth north to the buildings of the boardwalk.  Along the western wall, I could see the remnants of twelve pipes that entered through the concrete- these have been removed and concrete patches were put in their place.  However, below these patches I could still see where bunker oil had slowly dripped down the wall.  These were the pipes that led out to the storage tanks (I’m speculating, but four tanks, three boilers, therefore, twelve pipes?).  There were also pipes in the ceiling that sent over-pressure boiler steam up and out through ornate structures on the roof, which are still there to this day.

The chimney of the steam plant.  You can still see sunlight streaming through from the large tower, above.

The chimney of the steam plant. You can still see sunlight streaming through from the large tower, above.

The Exterior

The top and front of the steam plant were not accessible from inside.  Walking around the building to the front, there are boarded up windows which once housed concession stands.  There are several historic photos that show these businesses in operation.  A central outer staircase leads up to the solarium on the second floor- really the roof of the building.  Fortunately, the owners installed a modern rubber roof here which undoubtedly has protected the structure from years of water damage.  The roof area is large and overlooks Wesley Lake to the west, Ocean Grove to the south, the beach (the former Inkwell) to the east, and of course, the Casino to the north.

One of the alcoves on the roof of the steam plant.

One of the alcoves on the roof of the steam plant.


The central archway on the roof.

The central archway on the roof.

The roof is dominated by the majesty of the central chimney, black near the top from years of escaping soot.  The green decorative steam venting structures are still in place on the east and west sides.  There are brick archways all around the building which lend to its 1920’s styling.  There’s even what appeared to be an office area.  Poking my head in through a large open window, I disturbed several residents who had made a nest… we grow sea gulls big on the Jersey Shore, and I’m not sure these would fit through the window- needless to say, I wasn’t going to find out.  If you look carefully at some of the exterior photos, you can see where a lot of the brick mortar has deteriorated.

The view of the central tower from the roof.

The view of the central tower from the roof.


This is where excess steam from the boilers escaped.  Must have looked really cool...

This is where excess steam from the boilers escaped. Must have looked really cool…

Shut Down

This is where the history of the building goes a bit dark.  I was not able to determine when the steam plant was finally shut down.  Given its location right on the coast, I cannot imagine it was in operation during World War II.  The bunker oil it burned would have been a valuable resource during war time and it certainly would have been a German target during the war.  Whether or not it was operated after the war is unknown at this time, but it is doubtful considering newer technologies that were taking over (steam heat is very inefficient).  I did hear from one person who grew up in Asbury Park in the 1940’s and he does not remember the plant being in operation even then.

View of the second floor windows from the solarium.

View of the second floor windows from the solarium.


View of the detail on the east side of the plant.

View of the detail on the east side of the plant.


Boardwalk view of where the concession stands once were.

Boardwalk view of where the concession stands once were.

What is known is that around 2007, a contractor was finally hired to remove the massive boilers and clean out the building of any hazardous materials, putting it in its current benign state, a shell of its original, industrial glory.  When I first contacted the owners about photographing the building, I expected to get a “no way” response.  What I got instead was a “we don’t usually allow that, but let’s see what we can do.”  I would like to thank Madison Marquette for allowing me to have brief access to this historically lost building so that it could be documented for all time to come.  I hope my pictures do it justice.  I hope it is not forgotten, called an “eyesore,” or marked for demolition.

Future Use

Future use of the building has not yet been determined.  I certainly hope it stays as a structure marking the southern end of the Asbury Park boardwalk, for many years to come.  A few years ago someone proposed turning it into an art gallery or a restaurant, but those ideas proved to be unworkable at the time.  Maybe documenting the building in this way will bolster a little interest in its use and the right people and right ideas will come along as the rest of Asbury Park continues on its revitalization.  If my pictures could be part of sparking that interest, wonderful.  Hey, I think it would make a great photo studio, run by yours truly of course!  But then again, when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  The point is, it’s not too late for the steam plant.  Despite the looks of the interior, this building can be revitalized and put to good use again.  The structure is still sound, and its unique design lends itself to many uses.


There are still mysteries here- what it really looked like when she was new… the men that worked here, what 1930 was really like… I can picture dark smoke and steam spewing from the top, the noises of banging steam pipes, and loud oil-fueled fires heating huge tanks of water, the smell of burning oil- steam power is a living, breathing thing.  I can see some of the workmen taking a break, looking out over Wesley Lake as families took a ride on the paddle boats, while they toiled in a hot, nasty environment wearing soot-covered overalls.  I wish I could have seen her in all her glory.  But I can only imagine.

So now, as I walk along the Asbury Park boardwalk, I see people looking at the traditional icons… tourists snapping pictures at The Stone Pony, another Yappy Hour at the Wonderbar, beach goers and sunbathers carrying lounge chairs, some zombies left over from another zombie walk at Convention Hall, yet another photographer taking a picture of the “CA SI NO” and lovers walking hand in hand…

But me?  I cannot help but glance towards my new friend, the old steam plant.  May she live long, and stand tall…

The Great White Hunter

I believe in hunting.  I really do…. with a camera of course!

Where I grew up in northern NJ, I remember as a kid these huge snow storms.  Maybe because I was only four feet tall at the time, but I just remember huge snow drifts well over my head.  I remember three and four snow-days where school was closed (even though it was down the street and most of us could walk).  I remember my dog, a large standard poodle, loved to play in the snow, as did my next door neighbor’s English sheep dog (imagine a mop playing in the snow).  Our back yard was covered in the white stuff.  The patio, the summer furniture, the grill, and all the trees looked so clean and fresh in their white blanket of snow.

The birds, I was taught, migrated south in Winter.  That is why they were smarter than us humans.  The only wildlife left was the squirrels- invariably looking for the acorns they buried weeks before when it was warm and the ground wasn’t as hard as concrete.  And one other curious animal.  The cardinals.  There was always a cardinal.  His presence was magical.  A bright red bird in the presence of so many gray, brown, and tan animals.  Animals do their best to camouflage themselves and not be seen.  I always respected cardinals for being bright red and not giving a damn about predators.  I always thought they were thinking, “See me?  Yup!  Catch me if you can!  But you can’t- I’m fast.  And I’d rather look good and impress the ladies then worry about getting caught!”

I hadn’t seen too many cardinals in the years following that.  Suburbanization seems to have driven them off.  But then I moved a little south and during the winter, I started to see cardinals again.  We had some wooded areas around our house and I could often see them searching for food in the snow.  I’m not sure how they ever found any.

So, I was very happy when a few moved into my back yard.  I saw them enough to suspect that they had a nest, which, sure enough I spotted one day as the leaves began falling from the trees.  Only about ten feet off the ground, it was far enough away from my neighbor’s yappy little terrier to be safe.  I began to observe their routine of flying back to this one large bush constantly, on the lookout to make sure all was safe before flying off to whatever food source they had found.

So my next goal was to photograph one.  I always wanted my own cardinal photo, but as a kid, I never had the camera hardware to accomplish the task.

Wildlife photography (and let me stress, I am NOT a wildlife photographer!) requires the right equipment, knowing the animal’s behavior, and TONS of patience.   It also requires a fair amount of luck (which increases a bit once you know the typical behavior patterns).  Throw in a bird you’re trying to capture in Winter, and it also requires tolerance of the cold, which, if you know me, sucks.

But I would not be denied my cardinal picture!  So, layer up and put on the warm coat.  I’ve been observing these birds for weeks, so I knew their early morning routine, and the trees they liked to perch in.

The equipment was borderline for this shot.  The Nikon D800 was certainly up to the task.  The extra battery in the grip may come in handy as batteries tend to lose capacity in the cold.  My longest lens is a 70-200mm f/2.8, which is a little short for this type of work.  A 400mm or 600mm would have been preferred since this is a tiny bird.  But lacking big glass like that, I would have to use my cunning to get closer, and the extra megapixels the D800 provided to crop the photo later.

Morning arrived, beautiful morning light arrived, and the birds woke up (aww heck, they been up since 5AM, who am I kidding).  Put the coat on, assemble the camera, and out I went.  I gradually walked up to the tree and got within about 20 feet before the birds took notice of me and flew off.  I’d have to start over.  So I walked back to the house and gradually approached again, this time knowing how far I could go.  I got just short of my previous spot, lined up my shot, and stood there.  My neighbors were probably thinking, “What’s this idiot doing standing motionless in his back yard in 25 degree weather?”  Eh, what do they know.

I waited about thirty minutes, then, BINGO!  My new little friend decided to hop on the perfect branch and pose for me!

Cardinal in Tree

Cardinal in Tree, NJ

This shot was done at 200mm, ISO 100, f/2.8 @ 1/200.  Post processing in Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC.

I would have liked to get a shot with snow covered branches, but you see, I’m really not the Great White Hunter… the fact that I was outside in the cold was enough for me.  Snow would have made it unbearable.  Next up?  Sea gulls eating French fries on the beach in July- that’s wildlife photography to me!  Better yet- bikini models!

But today, for a few minutes, I was hunting cardinals.  I’ve been trying to take your picture for forty years… thank you my little friend!  I hope you find food… and to all my readers, I hope you find peace during the holidays!

Thunder Over Red Bank…

In June, 2013, I was out taking pictures in Red Bank, NJ.  Originally, I was trying to get a sunset/skyline picture of the town for an album cover for a project I was working on (The Downtown Allstars of Red Bank – www.redbankallstars.com).

We decided to go in a different direction with the album cover, so this picture was forgotten.

While I was out, the weather turned- what looked like a little rain shower in the distance started to grow.  I could start to see lightning in the distance, beyond the trees.  I was standing out on a pier that jutted into the river.  With a big metal camera and a big metal tripod.  For 100 yards, I’m the tallest thing and I’m holding a hunk of metal.  Smart Marlo, real smart.

So why not add to my stupidity?  I’m waiting for this damn sunset!  Maybe the storm in the distance will add some drama?  Sure.  There’s lots of things between me and the lightning…

Before I knew it, I’m in the middle of this storm… lightning in front of me, in back of me, around me… hitting the water in front of me.  The thunder was deafening.  The wind was almost blowing me over- but my Nikon and I stood fast.  My Bogen tripod was straining to keep the camera steady during the long exposure, but did a great job, being the trooper that it is.  It is, without a doubt, the most incredibly stupid thing I ever did in my life.

But, I lived.  And got this…


Lightning over Red Bank, NJ strikes the Oyster Point Hotel

Lightning over Red Bank, NJ strikes the Oyster Point Hotel


Bring it.


(For the photographers in the group… Nikon D800, 24-70mm-f/2.8 lens @ 24mm, ISO 100, 0.4 sec @ f/22 on a Bogen tripod w/cable release)

There’s Something in the Fog…

It’s been awhile… but now that the weather is starting to warm up along the Jersey Shore, I can get out and start shooting again and write some blog posts.  The first order of business is to do some location scouting.  Much has changed since it was last warm around here.  Superstorm Sandy did a number on us.  So it’s important for a photographer to check out the old “haunts” and also find some new ones.

I have a photoshoot with some other photographers coming up in a couple of weeks.  I wanted to check the location now, rather than be surprised the day of.  So I took a ride…

Standing on the rocks above the water, the ocean was pounding the shoreline.  There was no breeze.  There were no people.  It was 3PM on a bright sunny day, but the light was dropping.  The fog was rapidly rolling in- I was losing light quickly.  An eerie cold dampness descended on me.

There was a blood curdling scream.  I turned around to find the scene before me.  I raised my camera, focused, and shot a picture…

There's something in the fog...

There’s something in the fog…

It was just a seagull.

Or was it…

(Nikon D800, 24-70mm/f2.8 lens @ 70mm, 1/60 sec @ f/22, ISO 100- processing in Lightroom and Photoshop)