The Marine Memorial at Hampton Beach

She’s still staring toward the salty horizon, a laurel wreath in her granite hands.  Her hope is that all who sail from the sandy shores of New Hampshire return home to their families and loved ones safe and sound; and those who cannot, may they find peace and tranquility in the next world.

As for me… I just needed a driving break.

See, driving from Atlantic Canada back to Albany can be a very boring and arduous trip.  There are no billboards or road signs through the Maine highways – apparently they passed a “highway beautification” law that bans such billboards or signage – and after more than several hours of highway travel, I reached New Hampshire and I needed a break.  Hey… Hampton Beach is coming up on the highway…

Detour, Cardachrome – I took Exit 2 and motored towards the shore town.  I found a parking spot along Ashworth Road, paid the newly-installed parking meters, and took a long walk along the beige-sandy beach.

It’s early April along the shoreline, and several of the seasonal stores near the Hampton Beach Casino are opening their doors and setting up their souvenir displays and kiosks.

What a beautiful monument.  How inspiring.  How peaceful.  How poignant.  How stirring.

The only visitors to the beach that afternoon, besides me?  As I walked along the avenue, all I saw were a flock of seagulls.  Kinda wishing, if I had a photograph … just something to remind me … I wouldn’t spend my life just wishing… photograph… idea… and I ran, I ran so far away, back to my car.

Yep.  Nikon D700 still has plenty of charge, and I’ve got a spare camera chip.  The Vivitar wideangle is still on the camera chassis.

Yep.  Nikon F100 is in the car.  I looked through my camera bag – crap, all I have is an expired roll of Kodak B&W 400 film.  Oh well… maybe I can get something out of this roll.  I packed the film cartridge in the camera, and attached my 28mm f/2.8 wideangle lens.

First off – some straight photos of the memorial monument.

New Hampshire Marine Monument, Hampton Beach NH-7386
New Hampshire Marine Memorial, Hampton Beach, N.H. Nikon D700 camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

I had the polarizing filter on the camera lens, and luckily for me the American flag was fluttering at just the right time.

I learned afterward that the monument was erected thanks to the efforts of New Hampshire native William Downs, who lost his only son in the South Pacific in the final moments of the second World War.  It took twelve years to acquire the land and build the granite monument, but in 1957 the monument was finally finished and erected.  A base that encircles the Memorial bears the names of over 200 Granite State men and women who died in the service of their country.

Then I set up the tripod and tried some HDR shots.  And I got this.

New Hampshire Marine Monument, Hampton Beach NH - HDR
New Hampshire Marine Memorial, Hampton Beach, N.H. Nikon D700 camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens, 3 shots combined in HDR. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Wow.  I don’t care what you think about HDR photography, but how can you not love the clouds in the background?

The only B&W film I had left from my trip was an expired batch of Kodak BW400.  No guarantees.  Kinda wish I packed an extra roll of efke, and I don’t see anything that looks like a pro camera shop in the vicinity.  Gotta make do, I guess.

New Hampshire Marine Memorial, Hampton Beach, N.H. Nikon F100, 28mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak BW400 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

So that was the original unfiltered “white” shot.  Now it’s time for the red shot, green shot and blue shot – the “RGB” of my “WRGB” photo technique.  Then, once the film was developed a day later, I combined the three shots into one digital image.

And I got this.

New Hampshire Marine Memorial, Hampton Beach, N.H. Nikon F100, 28mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak BW400 film, WRGB red-green-blue photography technique. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Swirling rainbow cloudy skies.  Awesome.  Who says you can’t take pictures with expired film?

I then packed everything – cameras, tripod, sandy sneakers – into Cardachrome, and drove home.

Don’t mind me.  I’m feeling kinda spiritual right now.  Hope everybody understands.

Oh, and by the way…

Please join Stephanie Snyder, Jeannine Trimboli, Jason Purvis and me for the first ever Times Union Community Bloggers Minigolf Tournament. We’re golfing to raise money for various charities, and you can donate to our charities by visiting this page..

Then join us on May 12, when we take on the miniature golf course at FunPlex Fun Park in East Greenbush. We’re going to have a good time, and we encourage you to join us!

FORE!!!