chesapeake bay photography


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Interested in photography?

Whether you sell your photos as a living, or simply want to take your own postcard shots as keepsakes, Maryland's eastern shore is a photographer's dream. And there, in a beautiful corner of Dorchester County, sits Ransome's Chesapeake Bay Retreat, just waiting for you and your itching shutter finger.

The county's abundant wildlife, wide marshes, and pine-topped forests draw many people, from fishermen to birdwatchers to kayakers, to the area. It's a dream for wildlife photography. Add both amateur and professional photographers to that list. Both Fishing Bay and Taylor's Island Wildlife Management Areas sit within twenty-five minutes of the Retreat, but, just nine miles up the road, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge may offer the best in wildlife viewing - and, therefore, photography. The Wildlife Drive skirts mudflats and grassy marshes, and is home to many wading birds, shorebirds, one the largest populations of bald eagles on the east coast, and an assortment of waterfowl. In fact, the Refuge was created in 1933 for waterfowl protection. The usual cast of foxes, raccoons, and other mammals are common, as well as, are the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel and the sika deer - an Asiatic species that has long been established in the region.

If you bring your macro lens, along with your telephoto, you can find plenty of flowers, like the swamp hibiscus, to enjoy. A few short hiking trails and a recently created canoe trail also allow for activity as you explore and shoot. I even found a dreary overcast day this September to offer great shots of paddlers approaching mist-laden islands of loblolly pines. The Refuge has photo contests for teens, so bringing the kids on a photographic venture there might prove fun.

Be sure to bring plenty of film for subjects other than scenery and wildlife, as well. The Chesapeake is home to historic buildings and fishing villages tailor made for the play of light and color. For instance, you can check out old barns, boats and fishermen or crabbers arriving with the day's catch by following Hooper's Island Road as it traces a path through the towns and marinas of Fishing Creek and Hoopersville.

Many of the towns in Dorchester County have a rich history, like High Street in Cambridge, where you can see and photograph buildings, like Dorchester County Court House, and Waugh United Methodist Church (1826). A little west of Cambridge sits Spocott Windmill, and the nearby town of Church Creek boasts the Old Trinity Church, an active Episcopal church since the late 1600's. There is also a driving tour for many of the buildings, like the Bucktown Village Store, important in the life of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

Ransome's Retreat, which sleeps 17 plus people located in Chesapeake Bay, is within twenty minutes of all of these places and even has two small graveyards on its property - the stones worn smooth with age. The Retreat sits on the edge of a meandering marsh of green and golden grass, accented with the curving shapes of great blue herons and snowy egrets, so photographers can step outside the door into a texture of natural color and shapes. From their boat ramp, you can paddle just over 100 yards to the Bay and photographers will find themselves on the Ransome's secret beach - a still-life photographer's outdoor studio, thanks to the collection of water-carved driftwood and other assorted gifts of the tides.

There, too, lies the open horizon of the Chesapeake Bay and its nightly sunset, as colors reflect upon the lapping waves, even as bald eagles and ospreys roost in nearby loblolly pines. Or, you can just relax at the Retreat and watch the sun set over the Bay from the hot-tub, knowing the next day will bring more photo opportunities for you and your camera.

Call us at 1.888.726.7863 for your next Chesapeake Bay photography vacation.

For bicycle and kayak rentals, please click here to view the Blackwater Paddle & Pedal Adventures.  If you mention Percy Ransome's name, you will receive a free rental offer for a limited time. Please call Percy at 888-726-7662 for additional details.

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   For reservations or further information, please contact Marie & Percy:
           888-726-7863  (Toll Fee)            856-981-6612  (Marie's cell)
           609-975-8127  (Work)            215-350-1165  (Percy's cell)
           609-257-3719  (Work Fax)            856-231-8873  (Home Fax)