Late in the summer of 2009, I made a trip on the Hudson River with my good friend Ellen Kozak, the brilliant and prolific painter of Hudson River light. Ellen paints from the west shore of the Hudson near New Baltimore but hadn’t explored much on the eastern side. So, on a hot summer day we headed down river from the Nutten Hook landing directly across from Coxsackie. Our trip started in the early afternoon as we made our way toward Fordham Bay, an area I love and frequent. The water was warm and the tide low as we hiked the sand beaches that distinguish this beautiful stretch of river. Eventually, arriving at an inlet just north of Fordham Bay, Ellen set up shop on a huge beached log and began to work. I moved further south and spent the afternoon working on several subjects including a beautiful expanse of spatterdock (waterlily), that followed a seemingly endless curve of the river. The eastern shore of the river in this general area is quite wild and untouched, much of it New York State Forest Preserve. One gets the same feelings that early explorers like Henry Hudson might have had; that you are alone in a silent, pristine world. As usual I was working with my 8×10 camera which limits the distance one can travel and the number of negatives exposed. This restriction becomes a discipline that forces the photographer to choose very carefully his subjects and to wait for the best light and weather. While Ellen worked hard at her painting, the result being one unique work of art, I made three negatives, the last shown here. As the sun moved low in the sky the tide began to rise rapidly; a signal that it was time to go. I headed north toward Ellen’s spot but stopped suddenly as I came upon this scene now dramatically lit and half submerged by the river. I was fascinated by the intricate growth of the reeds and the reflections they cast in the water as well as the rugged beauty of the driftwood. I set up and made my last image looking directly toward the southern outskirts of Coxsackie across the river. Again, I was deeply impressed by the wild, unspoiled character of this stretch of Hudson River. Finally, packed and ready to go, I met Ellen and we began the hike back to Nutten Hook through nearly waist deep water that had been only sand beach hours ago. ©Thomas TeichClick here for reuse options!
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