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Ossabaw Island
February, 2009
Lensbaby Composer and Sony DSLR

Leaning Palm, Ossabaw Island

In February of 2009 I realized a long-held dream and spent three days photographing on Ossabaw Island, a remote barrier island off the coast of Georgia, with a small group of fellow artists, photographers and naturalists.

Entering the magical world of Ossabaw for the first time, one could be forgiven for thinking it a pristine, almost untouched wilderness. The silence is profound; sunlight filters down through cabbage palms and live oaks draped with Spanish moss, dappling the understory of palmettos and the narrow sandy road, sometimes little more than a path, upon which one stands. Vultures and hawks wheel high in the sky, searching, hunting . . . . Then, a crash off to one side in the underbrush: two or three black Ossabaw pigs go tearing along and disappear in the distance; soft rustles in the dry leaves reveal an armadillo or a wary island deer. And, never far away, the vast open expanses of tidal marsh, and the sea.

Yet Ossabaw has been inhabited by humans for the past 4,000 years: it is a palimpsest of the faint and fading traces of prehistoric hunter-gatherers, early native maize-growers, Spanish explorers and missionaries, English plantation owners, wealthy American sportsmen. Then, in 1924, Dr. Henry Norton Torrey and his wife Nell Ford Torrey purchased Ossabaw for their use as a private family retreat. The island remained the property of the Torrey family until 1978, when, due to the efforts of Eleanor Torrey West, Dr. Torrey’s daughter, to keep Ossabaw from being victimized by developers, it was sold to the State of Georgia as the State's first heritage preserve, a wild, remote and peaceful haven for scientific study and creative pursuits.

When I came away from Ossabaw, I carried Ossabaw within me, haunted forever by this seemingly unchanging, yet continually changing, world of sea and sky, sky and land, land and sea. Someday soon I hope I shall realize another dream, and return to Ossabaw.

Avenue of Oaks

Boneyard Beach

  Crane at Torrey Landing

  Cabbage Palm Texture

Cane Patch Island

  Cemetery of Palms


  Marsh Fence


Leaning Palm

South Beach

Tidal Marsh Creek

"Ossabaw Island" book available:
Click on image above

The following sequence was made on the same trip, over a period of three days, using a Pinhole Blender Mini 120

Send comments, questions and remarks to: jkapoor@jankapoor.net
Copyright Jan Kapoor.  All rights reserved.