En Français | Montréal, Québec

Un jour, quand nous dirons: “C’était le temps du soleil,
Vous souvenez-vous, il éclairait la moindre ramille,
Et aussi bien la femme âgée que la jeune fille étonnée,
Il savait donner leur couleur aux objets dès qu’il se posait,
Il suivait le cheval coureur et s’arrêtait avec lui,
C’était le temps inoubliable où nous étions sur la Terre,
Où cela faisait du bruit de faire tomber quelque chose,
Nous regardions alentour avec nos yeux connaisseurs,
Nos oreilles comprenaient toutes les nuances de l’air
Et lorsque le pas de l’ami s’avançait nous le savions,
Nous ramassions aussi bien une fleur qu’un caillou poli,
Le temps où nous ne pouvions attraper la fumée,
Ah! c’est tout ce que nos mains sauraient saisir maintenant.”

Some day we will be saying: “That was the time of the sun,
Do you remember its light fell on the slightest twig,
The elderly woman or young astonished girl,
As soon as it touched it gave their color to things,
Kept pace with the galloping horse and stopped when he did,
That unforgettable time when we were still on Earth,
Where if we dropped something it made a noise,
We would look around us with our knowing eyes,
And our ears would catch the slightest nuance in the air
When the footsteps of a friend approached, we knew,
We used to gather flowers or smooth pebbles,
At that time we never could take hold of smoke,
Ah! What else can our hands do for us now?”

—Jules Supervielle, “Le Regret de la terre”

Camera: Mamiya 645AF
Film: Kodak Portra 800 and 160, Tri-X 400 pushed to 1600

The Lobster Shack | Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Memory is a funny thing. Returning to the Lobster Shack at Two Lights State Park, just outside of Portland, I expected a vision I’d preserved in my mind for fifteen years. The last time I visited, I recalled a weathered, beaten-down hutch whose lobster-slinging was done through a sliding window pane. What I returned to was a cleaned-up, slick operation—either the place had evolved dramatically, or the creaky little shack had always been a construct of my ten-year-old imagination.

There was plenty, though, that hadn’t altered from my childhood memories: the salty breeze that puts a curl in your hair, the pitch-perfect strawberry shortcake and lobster rolls, and the tidal pools down on the rocks full of jewel-toned ocean life—all things I hope will endure till my next visit.

Camera: Mamiya 645AF
Film: Kodak Portra 400, Ektar 100

The Calendar Islands | Peaks Island, Maine

As the old legend goes, Casco Bay—an inlet carved out of the Gulf of Maine—is dotted with 365 little islands, one for each day of the year. Though these “calendar islands” number fewer in reality, it doesn’t make the ferry ride out of Portland any less majestic. The water is studded with rock formations; landmass juts out from the shimmering surface as far as the eye can see.

We spent a lazy August afternoon on Peaks Island, basking in the ferry ride over, the wafting sounds of a reggae band playing Radiohead covers, and a languid stroll spent admiring sweet little island houses. The obligatory end-of-day scoop of coffee ice cream (suffocated by Oreos and Heath bar bits!) was the best nightcap that $3 could buy—and kind of made you wish that there were 364 more islands where Peaks came from.

Cameras: Mamiya 645AF, Canonet QL17 GIII
Film: Kodak Portra 400, Tri-X 400 pushed to 1600

Portland(ia)

Portland, Maine is a city where lobster fishermen greet the dawn at the counter of Becky’s Diner, and where businessmen stride purposefully through the streets—businessmen, that is, whose rolled-up sleeves reveal an armful of tattoos. It’s the kind of city where you can smell the salt air at every turn, and where cresting a hill means you’re met with an ocean view rife with tall ships. It’s the home of Otto Pizza, where pies are topped with pulled pork and mashed potatoes.

It’s a city that’s laid-back yet bustling, cultured yet firmly blue-collar—and most certainly worth a visit.

Cameras: Mamiya 645AF, Canonet QL17 GIII
Film: Kodak Ektar 100, Portra 800, Tri-X 400 pushed to 1600

On the Waterfront | Lake Sebago, Maine

At the lake house, most days were defined by raindrops and rolling thunder. So, the second that the sun broke through the cloud cover, I was ready to venture onto the water. We motored out to Turtle Cove, where we spotted two legitimate turtles sunning themselves atop boulders, and circled the miniature rock island where the loons nest.

I brought my hardy rangefinder camera—the newest in my tiny arsenal—along for the ride, and was delighted to see that the results mirrored the kind of ever-so-grainy 35mm vacation shots my parents took decades ago. Cue the nostalgia! I’ll be toting my little Canonet around on dry land now, too.

Camera: Canonet QL17 GIII
Film: Kodak Portra 400