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Sixty-Something: Taking Amazing Photographs in the Hamptons

T.J. Clemente

Looking up I often say one can feel the souls of everyone who ever lived out there with you. (Photo: T.J. Clemente)

When I first started taking photos all over the Hamptons for articles I was writing, I actually used a camera with film. Needless to say how difficult it was to get timely photos processed for print. Eventually, that gave way to transferring the film photo to a digital disk and eventually straight digital camera to eventually high definition cameras on smart phones. One thing remained standard during this whole process has been my love of taking pictures of everything Hamptons, along with everyone Hamptons.

In over seventeen-years of taking Hamptons photos, my private collection is huge - somewhere over 20,000 photos that I still have. They range from sunrises, cloudy days, sunsets, and farm landscapes to the usual group photos of political candidates, event planners, event attendees, and of course pets, including my deceased beagle. Not to mention my numerous sailing photos and family photos.

The beauty of it nowadays is with the phone camera, everyone can take a high definition photo at any time and can instantly photoshop it right on the phone and send it out within seconds. A far cry from my days of getting photos developed and turning in the negatives.

Everyone who lives or vacations in the Hamptons has to have a favorite place, spot, view, beach, road or landscape scene they love to photograph. Many times one takes a multitude of photos at these locations at different times of the day and times of the year. I know I do.

How many photos have you taken of the Montauk Lighthouse? For me, my favorites are of course the family ones, along with the photos of the amazing folks I did wonderful timeless stories about. Then there are my sunset photos and now sunset videos I have taken from my small 22' Catalina Sailboat, the "Cindi Lou," out in Gardiner's Bay. I enjoy taking folks out at sunset and watching their joy at taking dramatic sunset photos out on Gardiner's Bay because it is so historic and beautiful. Most of the time every photo is a can't miss situation. Most nights it's like a religious experience because that big sky has so much color and power in every glance upward that you have to think of an almighty being. Looking up I often say one can feel the souls of everyone who ever lived out there with you.

The beauty of today's technology is you get to share your moment via social platforms on the Internet instantly with potentially millions of people. You get to reach out and share your photo of that moment. It is still so amazing to me that Kodak film is obsolete to so many young folks whereas my Kodak Brownie, Instamatic, and "throw-away cameras" are such a huge part of my past.

I remember my brother spending big money for a Nikon camera and camera lenses and trying to teach me about the various types of film to use for photo shoots! Now it's hit the photo symbol on the phone, aim and click.

It's fun, it's magic and it's easy to photograph the Hamptons and as I have learned, if you take a lot of photos you somehow come up with some major keepers.

Now there are the drone photos from up above that add a whole new dimension to still shots and moving video, a phenomenon worthy of it own column in the future.

I would love for anyone who reads this column to send and add their favorite Hamptons photo to the comments of our Facebook page. Everyone loves seeing a great Hamptons photo because a great photo is worth more than a thousand words.

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