Wandering, Exploring, Relaxing, Reflection.
It was a beautiful, warm, sunny spring day in mid May. It was the perfect weather for riding along the North Shore Massachusetts coast on my Chinese 50cc scooter. It was also the perfect weather for shooting a roll of film. I mounted my Nikkor 50mm 1.8 ais lens on my vintage Nikon F3 35mm film camera and loaded her with a roll of original Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100 black and white film and hit the road for a leisurely stroll, stopping at various spots along the Massachusetts' North Shore coastline in Beverly, Salem, Marblehead, Manchester by the Sea, and Magnolia. I developed the roll of film in Agfa Rodinal dilution 1:25 for 7 minutes.
As a Buddhist who meditates, daily, multiple times a day, it is blissful & joyful meditating by the ocean. It is a pleasure filled experience, sitting in the warmth of the bright light, feeling a gentle, salt scented breeze on my skin, breathing in this cleansing air, a salty and dry taste upon my lips as I watch, every breath, every wave and ripple. Nothing still nor moving goes unnoticed. I'm in the totality of my entire experience, breathing in, the waves rises towards me, breathing in the breeze down my throat, in my nostrils, it is effortless. I see it, smell it, taste it, feel it... Exhale, the waves receding. Watching it come and go, hearing the water's movement like a soft percussion to the breeze filled with songs of birds. Here everything is all interconnected. The sand to the water, below and above, as too is the sky above and below. Land, sea and sky are one.
I meditated at each stop, absorbing & enjoying with delight all of these beautiful offerings to my senses. My love and appreciation for the scenes before my eyes comes with a heavy burden of sadness, knowing what's to come in the near future. Here I am, in this present moment filled with beauty, bliss and joy, and I photograph it not only to capture and preserve this beauty on film, but to document it as it once was before the sea levels rise and flood these locations in our very near future due to the climate emergency. One day in our near future these black and white photographs will be reminders of how things once were. Many parts of the North Shore Massachusetts' coast are going to disappear under water. Not just here either, but everywhere. .
This is not the first time, nor the last time that I've cruised around the coastline capturing photographs on film, not just in Massachusetts, but in New Hampshire and Maine as well. As a person who's lived on the coast for the majority of my life, I've captured many photographs of beaches, oceans, harbors, shorelines and seashores of New England, but this is the first time I decided to write a post about it. I'm sick and tired of wasting my precious time on social media platforms , and decided that, going forward, I will post more of my work here on my own website instead.
Photos © Lita Xú Líng Kelley. Contact for use, license or print purchase