Kevin Fleming Captures Beauty at the Beach

Text and photographs by Kevin Fleming
From the Holiday 2013 Issue

How can I not love my job? I’m sure I have the best “office” in Delaware.

Every day when there is the promise of good light, I’m up well before sunrise on a mission to capture the beauty of coastal Delaware. I certainly have had a lot of sand between my toes over the past two years capturing images for my new book, “The Beach.” That’s a good thing as there is nowhere in Delaware more beautiful to witness a spectacular sunrise than on the beach. To get these photographs I have been very fortunate to see fantastic sunrises so many times.

For what amounts to just a tiny speck of America, coastal Delaware has so much to offer. Our state parks and national wildlife refuges beautifully preserve miles of coastline and thousands of acres of forest and wetlands. Our location is in the middle of the Atlantic Flyway, the nation’s superhighway for migrating songbirds, raptors and waterfowl, with coastal Delaware being the rest stop.

Sunrises over our coast and wetlands are always unique — no two are the same. The color of the light changes by the minute, usually starting as deep blue before sunrise, then warming to reds and oranges as the sun nears the horizon. Stormy weather is my favorite time to photograph, as the sky comes alive with dramatic clouds, rainbows and sometimes lightning.

It is the unpredictability of the light that makes landscape photography such a challenge. Very little planning is possible. I spend my days chasing the light. If the morning brings a dramatic sky I go after a landscape photograph. If the day dawns clear, that’s a wildlife day. Fortunately, in little Delaware, great subjects are just a short drive or boat ride away.

For this book I used Nikon D4 and D800e cameras with lenses ranging from a 14mm wide-angle to a long 600mm telephoto. Wide-angle lenses are my favorite for beach landscapes and, without a doubt, the 600mm is my favorite wildlife lens; it allows me to get close without disturbing wildlife.

People who see my photography in books, Delaware Beach Life ITALIC or in my Rehoboth Beach gallery often ask how long it took to make a certain photograph. That’s a tough question to answer as some of these images were made within minutes of setting up on the beach or arriving by boat on an island rookery. Others are in the book because I went back again and again to shoot a scene differently or in better light.

“The Beach” is available now in area bookstores and in my gallery at 239 Rehoboth Ave. in early November. Online orders can be placed at Shipping is free.