Making, not just taking, winning photographs

By Terry Plowman
From the October 2007 issue


Successful photographers follow the advice of legendary nature photographer Ansel Adams that "You don't take a photograph, you make it."

The judges in the first Delaware Beach Life photo contest (winners of which are featured on the previous pages) noticed that many entries had promise, but for one reason or another, fell a little short of prizewinner status.

So, here — with comments from the judges and permission from the photographers who let us use their entries as examples — we offer some tips on how to make a great photograph. (See the images on the following pages for more exampes.)

Local bike-or-hike paths connect coastal communities — and the like-minded folks drawn to them

By Jeanne Shook
Photograph by Rob Waters 
From the June 2021 issue


If you ask Siri, “How do I get to Gordons Pond?” don’t be surprised if she replies, “You can’t get there from here.” Even Siri knows that some of coastal Delaware’s most scenic spots are not accessible unless the mode of transportation is bicycle or shoe leather express.

Biking the trails in coastal Delaware is akin to surfing in Southern California: a year-round activity so embraced by residents and visitors alike that it’s become an integral part of the Slower Lower ethos, earning the state national attention. The League of American Bicyclists currently ranks Delaware sixth in the country on its list of bicycle-friendly states. And Lewes has been singled out as a bronze-level “Bicycle Friendly Community,” the league’s designation for towns and municipalities that foster a culture of bicycling for everyone. 

A Win for Marine Life

By Lynn R. Parks 
From the June 2021 issue


Merchants in coastal Sussex are operating under a ban of single-use plastic shopping bags that went into effect statewide Jan. 1. As directed by a law passed in 2019 by the General Assembly, the ban affects stores larger than 7,000 square feet and chains of at least three stores when each of which is 3,000 square feet in size or larger. Restaurants are not included.

Suzanne Thurman, founder and executive director of the MERR (Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation) Institute, would have preferred the state take stronger steps, stopping even more stores from using the bags. Still, she calls the law a good starting place.