Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coastal Cultural Preservation Project

Coastal Cultural Preservation Project
Meet David Owen Hawxhurst, photographer extraordinaire who not only runs a full-time photography and video business out of his office in Washington, D.C., but takes times to document the life and history of the Chesapeake Bay in the  Coastal Culture Preservation Project, an on-line aggregator of historic photos and documentary projects that tell the story of the world’s maritime communities in order to preserve, protect and prioritize their value. David got his inspiration 3 years ago, while shooting in Saxis, VA, seeing abandoned houses that lent forth historical discarded photos that cried out to be saved.

I recently met up with David at Deal Island, where he was photographing the locals at the Deal Island fire house. He was nice enough, not only to pose for me on his backdrop, but to let me take a quick shot of him photographing a family. 

Looking at the children in the below photo, I can see them on some magazine cover in the far off distance, all grown-up, inserts of David's photos taken in the innocence of their youth, accompanying a story of the proud people whose ancestors worked the bay. The tides of change never sleep, and David, who said he chose Deal Island, "Because tourism has not yet affected the way of life on the island" knows from twenty years of experience how fast those tides are eroding a way of life, leaving only ghosts of memories in photos.

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Below, David directs his subjects in how to pose for the camera.

Everyone who poses for David gets a free photo.

David says he plans to be back on the Eastern Shore in the near future. Hope to see you soon in Crisfield, David. I will provide dates as I found out about David's travels to our area. Everyone start digging out those old photos. If you have any you would like to share with David, you can email him through the above site.

Here's my contribution to the project - my favorite skipjack captain  "Daddy" Art Daniels of the City of Crisfield, holding an old photo of himself, one of my favorite photos, I might add. 

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