Hunter H. Harris, local pilot and aerial photographer, has been flying over the Chesapeake Bay for some 35 years. As a pilot, he knows the local landscape inside and out. And as a photographer, he’s watched the shifting shores of the Chesapeake with the eye of an artist, a native, and an ecologist.
Harris brings these varying selves together – pilot, artist, native, ecologist – in his latest project, a book called Shoreline Shapes of the Chesapeake. In it, he offers 40 aerial photographs of the Bay’s shorelines, from the west to the east, northern and southern portions of the Bay. All of the photos depict the constantly changing shoreline, and some photos even show the same spot, taken from the same perspective, in different years.
Harris’ goal with this book is to tweak your imagination, and he targets all age groups. Flying above the Bay, he’s seen fantastic sights, and has imagined even more – sandbars become snakes, shifting sands turn into sea creatures and rip-rapped edges become teeth of mighty monsters. He asks readers to open the right side of their brains and imagine – what do you see in these aerial images?
Harris aims to push readers into engaging with this material, and it’s not hard to do. The beautiful photos can take you away, upward, into a broader view.
In the back of the book, he offers his interpretation as well as GPS info so that readers can identify each specific location, and explore further on Google Earth. This makes it easy for any reader to stretch the 40 images from his book into countless images taken from above, onto the computer screen. Google Earth turns into a tool with which to explore the changing landscape of our precious resource, the Chesapeake.
Harris intends to make a point with this book, and he does. The Bay is not ok, and we need to make serious changes in order to protect its health. From the perspective of above, he feels a duty to both report and inspire.
Harris is supporting this book through Kickstarter, and he’s working with some local educators to get the book into the hands of kids, the Bay’s future keepers and guardians. It’s hard to imagine anything more worthwhile to do with such images, than to engage our kids and encourage them to come up with new ways to preserve and protect.
For more information, see the Kickstarter page. Individual photos from the book are also available for sale as prints in various sizes.
This book belongs in every Chesapeake collection.
Follow Hunter H. Harris on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AloftAerialPhotography