I’ve learned to also keep my digital camera charged and with me whenever I venture out into Ischia, Italy. I just never know when I’m going to stumble upon the perfect photo. I just loved this colorful boat, which caught my eye while I was hanging out on the beach and building sand castles (read: getting sand thrown in my eyes, hair, face, and even mouth) with Baby Boy, who likes to throw the soft stuff around. Despite the tearing, I saw this charming boat, probably giving someone a tour of the island, and couldn’t resist snapping a photo. I have a load of these kinds of shots on iPhoto now. And I hope the collection keeps growing. My new rule is going to be to always have a camera with me wherever I am (even after I leave Ischia). This comes in handy when I want to capture precious moments with Baby Boy, too. Who knows? You might be my next subject. Watch out!
Right about now, you are either disappointed or relieved because the headline had you thinking this was a whole other kind of blog post. C’mon people, you know who I am. This is about an actual babe, my almost two-year-old boy, of course. I mentioned to you that I love taking photos of the beach. Now that we’re living literally steps from the beach, I am constantly snapping pics.
What I love nearly as much as pictures of the beach are pictures of my son on the beach. But getting a normal toddler to stay still is impossible, let alone Baby Boy, who has outpaced the Energizer Bunny on occasion. At first, I was blue because I had no pictures – or at least no good pictures of Baby Boy on the beach. Then, I had a stroke of genius. Ok, maybe it was just a stroke of common sense.
Instead of trying to pose him or waiting for the moment he stood still (read: fell asleep) to photograph him, I started to just follow Baby Boy’s every move with the camera. The more pictures I snapped, the more likely I’d get something worth framing (or at least worth using to decorate my Desktop or cell phone screen). When my American friends, their nearly two-year-old daughter, my son, and I headed to the beach on Memorial Day, we were armed with a camera – and we all snapped, snapped, snapped as many photos as we could of the kids.
When the two babes toddled over to the spogliatoi (locker rooms), we were swelling with joy. The graphic element of the locker rooms contrasted by their sweet faces, while they were exploring this new terrain, was pure perfection. Once you turn the photos black and white, they look like something out of 1950s’ Italy, which is special for me since that was the era my father was still living in Ischia. It also happens to be the moment in history when Ischia stopped being reliant on an agricultural economy and started focusing on tourism. Regardless of what history the black and white images spark for me, they are worthy of a frame and look good in color to boot (see below). In fact, this second picture would be great blown up as a poster for our home in Ischia. Not surprisingly, you can expect more beach photos on this blog throughout the rest of the year.
The one plus to living on a small Italian island is that the beach is always moments away. In fact, we just have to walk a couple of blocks from our door to arrive at the beach here on Ischia. That’s a big deal for a girl from north Jersey, who is used to at least an hour in the car before hitting the ocean. I’ve enjoyed photographing the ocean and beach ever since I came to Ischia with my parents when I was 12. I had been to the island before, but at 12 I wanted to bring back images to share the trip with my friends. Ever since then, I’m always snapping away.
The other night, while walking with my husband and son, I took this shot above and the ones below of San Pietro beach, which is in Ischia’s main hub, Ischia Porto. I’m no professional photographer, so I realize these are not very special pics. The sun’s glare as it descends is too overpowering. But I still love the look of these pictures when I set them to sepia as you see here. It definitely makes me think about an old-fashioned summer – girls in one-piece ’50s bathing suits, guys in vintage board shorts, ice cream cones, hanging under the boardwalk, and cruising with the songs of summer blaring from the radio. Too bad I am too young to have ever experienced such a memory and that Ischia – like the rest of Italy – does not even know what a boardwalk is. You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take Jersey out of the girl. I have a funny feeling, I’ll be writing that a lot over the next eight and a half months on the island.