Wednesday, January 14, 2009

imagine Camden

Had the Penobscot Abenaki Indians had their way, Megunticook would have been the name for Camden, a town in Maine. But now with its English and less tongue-twisting name, Camden still stands out. It does not look commonplace and generic at all. Its history of economic prosperity provided Camden with a swath of picturesque 19th century houses, storefronts and churches amidst perched hills, pine woodlands, mineral rivers and jagged coast.

water rush
a river cascades into the public port
Canon EOS 350D, 15s, f/14, 18mm, ISO 100

Chestnut Street Baptist Church
the Chestnut Street Baptist Church of Camden
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1.3s, f/10, 18mm, ISO 100, +1/3EV

Some seventeen summers ago, a good friend invited me on a boat trip in Camden and since then, irrevocably, I have an affection to its scenic coast. Over the years, complaints have been widespread that the old-fashioned quaint village has been transformed into a commercial haven serving the vacationers and its public landing more like a marina for the moneyed jetsetters for their yachts, schooners and boats.

old St Thomas Church
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/500s, f/2.8, 7.1 mm

Chestnut street
the street leading to the public landing
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 10s, f/22, 18mm, ISO 100, -1/3 EV

Notwithstanding the changes, Camden should still capture anyone’s imagination. My favorite place remains the public landing. Fronted by a dense network of public storehouses, bookshops, restaurants and boutique galleries, the marina is a treat to the eyes. Food is no slouch either and I’ve tried more than my share of its seafood restaurants and a local pub and they were no disappointment. For the photographer in you, there is even a wide stream that bisects the cape and pouring fresh potable water directly into the pier.

a river cascade at the public landing
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 25s, f/11,18mm, ISO 100

6AM sunrise at the marina, Camden, Maine
6AM sunrise at the marina
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/40s, f/5.6, 7.1mm, +2/3 EV

Whatever time you visit, whether it is twilight, noon or even early dawn as I often did, Camden is not bereft of postcard possibilities. Rife is more like it.

public landing
dawn at the public landing
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/30s, f/5.6, 7.1mm

boats rocking silently at dusk (winter)
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 30s, f/4.5, 18mm, ISO 100, +2/3 EV

summer twilight
twilight in the marina (summer)
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/500s, f/2.8, 7.1mm, +2/3EV

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