Monday, December 7, 2015
Nuts, Bolts, Posts, Pipes and Rust
When we went to Ocean City, New Jersey over Thanksgiving break I became obsessed by photographing the old, rusty pipes and piers leading out to the ocean. Everyone around me was taking photos of the ocean and their loved ones while I fixated upon worn-down metal and wood. There is something about the effect of the salt water on these materials I find so fascinating. For instance, when I saw the top of the wooden pier below I fell in love with the way the wood had cracked and the algae was growing on the weathered surface.
And when I came upon the pipe below I wanted to yell out to everyone, "Come over and check out this patina!" The scumble and bumble of texture and the warm rust tones were amazing.
The next pipe I came across was totally different but also incredible. The texture reminded me of elephant skin and the light was hitting it in the most beautiful way.
I was also infatuated with the bolts that held the wooden structures around the pipes.
I loved the contrast of the brand new perfectly machined bolt and the worn, algae-covered wood.
Not all the bolts were new and I found the bolt below still had a hint of its original blue paint. The combination of the intense blue and the orange rust was lovely.
I let out a little gasp when I came across the bolt below. The shape was so over-the-top and made me wonder about its history. Who made this and who decided it had to have four layers and was it really as strong as it appeared?
I also fell madly in love with this old wooden track that had very worn metal shapes in the middle of it. It was surrounded by huge rocks. It is always amazing to me what people can build and how nothing can ever really stand up to the ocean.
But I am also impressed with people's tenacity. The boardwalk near where we were staying had clearly recently been destroyed and was being rebuilt. The section shown below was in good shape and full of people even on Thanksgiving.
Normally when I see man-made items (like pipes) leading into the ocean I have thoughts of pollution and sewage. But I love how the ocean and the sun can work their magic to turn even an old, rusty pipe into a work of art. As I sat on these rocks waiting for the sun to set I noticed something so subtle and lovely. Each time the waves touched the underbelly of the pipe the water would cling to the pipe for a moment and then cascade down in what appeared to be liquid icicles that glowed orange and pink in the setting sun. I watched this phenomenon until the sun set and as I ran home to Thanksgiving dinner I thanked my big, orange, lucky star.