Just in time for your pre black Friday shopping here is a guest post by Cameron Davidson about his new book Chesapeake . I have long admired Davidson's photographs. He is one of the world's greatest aerial photographers (go to his site and be staggered by his talent).
Chesapeake, the book project has been a 20 plus year labor of love. Its foundation came about from a story I shot for National Geographic on the Great Blue Herons of Black Swamp Creek on Maryland's Patuxent River. After a introductory flight over the rookery in an ancient and quite reliable Piper Cub, I fell in love with aerials. I abandoned my dream of being a bird photographer for the Geographic and embraced the goal of a career centered on travel and shooting aerials.
I've always been drawn to the interaction of man, land and water. The combination of these three intrigues me. How humankind uses, destroys and tries to restore our watersheds and shorelines.
The Chesapeake project gathered steam and energy once digital was a viable alternative to film. I met several fixed-wing pilots who were willing to fly me all over the watershed with my crazy requests of take-offs before sunrise and catching the last light of every day we spent in the air. The book was shot primarily with Canon digital SLR's with a mix of Medium Format film and digital with the last year of shoots on a Nikon D3X .
My goal was to show the complete watershed and to show how interconnected the Chesapeake Bay is with the populations of the six states that impact its waters.
I flew over every major river, tributary, marsh, island and city in the bay. There is a soft mesmerizing beauty to the marshes and rivers along with a harshness to the industry that lines a few inlets and rivers.
Even though I started this self-financed project in fixed-wing aircraft, the majority of the photography was shot in turbine helicopters, primarily Bell Jet Rangers and MD 500s.
I've always been a believer in long-term personal projects. I think it is critical for photographer to have their own voice and not always show or shoot that reflect the needs of their clients.