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Sandy Point State Park

Sandy Point State Park, viewed from the paved area in late afternoonSandy Point State Park is a public park located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, at the foot of the Bay Bridge, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, near Annapolis. The park is located at a former landing site for the Claiborne-Annapolis Ferry Company. The park is open year-round, and plays host to a number of outdoor activities. Boating and fishing occurs year-round, and the park is a popular site for beachgoers during warmer months. In addition, the park plays host to the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge each year in late January, and hosts the Lights on the Bay lighting display in December of each year.

Prior to this visit, I had been to Sandy Point State Park to photograph the polar bear plunge in 2010 and in 2011, and I had been there on several occasions to swim and enjoy the beach. On this particular occasion, February 9, 2013, I was out to photograph the park itself. While I had done photography here before, the photos had always been during events or during the peak season for beach use. My goal this time was to focus on the park itself – thus why I made the visit during winter. In winter, outside of any special event, I knew that very few people would be visiting the park.

This photo set was also a test of new photographic equipment that I had purchased earlier in the year. After doing some research about the effects of filters on photographs, I bought set of filters (ultraviolet, fluorescent, neutral density, and polarizing) and a filter adapter for my existing camera in January. While I had tested the new filters in short test shoots earlier, this was my first “real” photo shoot using a filter. Sandy Point seemed perfect for the polarizer.

In doing the photo shoot, I started from the normal access to the park for most beachgoers, on South Beach, and went straight towards the water. I then proceeded east, and followed the edge of the water around, past rock jetties of varying sizes, to the northern end of East Beach. Along the way, I photographed many sights, including the water, the Bay Bridge, waves, Sandy Point Shoal Light, some people, birds, signs, debris, and anything else that I could photograph. Reaching the northeastern end of the park, I turned around and retraced my steps back towards South Beach, until I reached the jetty at the southwestern end of the park, next to the entrance to Mezick Ponds, which separates Sandy Point State Park from the Bay Bridge.

Southeast end of the park.  Sandy Point Shoal Light is visible in the distance. Sea gull along the water's edge.
Ridges in the sand on South Beach.
Sea gull flying low over South Beach. Sea gull standing on top of a sign in the southeast corner of the park.
Sea gull walking in the water.
A wave crashes on the beach. Footprints in the sand on South Beach.
Southeast corner of Sandy Point State Park.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge, viewed from South Beach. Edge of the water, South Beach.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge, viewed from South Beach.
Waves break on the shore of South Beach. Waves break on the shore of South Beach.
Waves break on the shore of South Beach.
Barnacle-encrusted rock in the water near the southeast corner of the park. Barnacle-encrusted rocks in the water near the southeast corner of the park.
Barnacle-encrusted rock in the water near the southeast corner of the park.
Sandy Point Shoal Light, with rocks at the southeast corner of the park in the foreground. Sandy Point Shoal Light.
Sandy Point Shoal Light.
Rock covered with algae on its lower surfaces. Rocks littering the beach at the water's edge.  Sandy Point Shoal Light is visible in the distance.
Warning signs ahead of a short rock jetty in the southeast corner of the park.
Rock jetty on the east side of the park. Small rock jetty in the southeast corner of the park.
Small rock jetty in the southeast corner of the park.
Southeast corner of the park, with the Bay Bridge visible in the distance. Southeast corner of the park, with the Bay Bridge visible in the distance.
Southeast corner of the park, with the Bay Bridge visible in the distance.
Ice covers rocks on a jetty in the southeast corner of the park. Ice covers rocks on a jetty in the southeast corner of the park.
Rock covered with barnacles and ice in the southeast corner of the park.
Rock jetty on the eastern edge of the park.  Sandy Point Shoal Light is visible in the distance. Barnacle-encrusted rock jetty in the east end of the park.
End of a rock jetty on the east side of the park.  Sandy Point Shoal Light is visible in the distance.
Grasses along East Beach. Grasses along East Beach.
Grasses along East Beach.
Rock jetty at the southern edge of East Beach. Rocks line the shore at the east edge of the park, just south of East Beach.
Ice-covered rock jetty on the east side of the park.
"HOT COALS" receptacle near a picnic area on the east side of the park.  Receptacles such as these are located throughout the park for safe disposal of grilling materials. Signage on East Beach.
Signage on East Beach.
East Beach. Sea gull walking near the water on East Beach.
Dog pawprints in the sand at East Beach.
East Beach.  The Bay Bridge is visible in the distance. East Beach.  The Bay Bridge is visible in the distance.
East Beach.  The Bay Bridge is visible in the distance.
Abandoned pair of sunglasses on the beach. Can of chewing tobacco, discarded on the beach.
Abandoned pair of sunglasses on the beach.
Waves coming on shore at East Beach. Signage at East Beach.
"NO PLUNGING" sign on East Beach, left over from the Maryland Polar Bear Plunge held two weeks earlier.  No plunge activity occurs on East Beach.  All plunge activity occurs on South Beach.
Ice-covered rock jetty at the south end of East Beach. Rock jetty at the northern end of East Beach.
Ice-covered rock jetty at the south end of East Beach.
A man walks on an ice-covered rock jetty at East Beach. Rock jetty near East Beach.
End of a rock jetty near East Beach.
Tree at the northern end of East Beach. Park bench overlooking the bay at East Beach.
Tree and park bench at East Beach.
Shore north of East Beach. Icicles hanging from a downed tree limb at the northern end of East Beach.
Downed tree limb, with icicles hanging from its lower areas.
Coin-operated binoculars at East Beach. Coin-operated binoculars at East Beach.
East Beach.  Picnic shelters are visible in the distance.
Rock jetty near East Beach. Rock jetty near East Beach.
Rock jetty near East Beach.
A bird perches on a sign at the southeast corner of the park. A person stands on a rock jetty in the southeast corner of the park.
Birds congregate in the southeast corner of the park.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, viewed from the southeast end of the park. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, viewed from South Beach.
Waves arriving on shore at South Beach.
Waves arriving on shore at South Beach. Waves arriving on shore at South Beach.
Waves arriving on shore at South Beach.
Wooden stick on South Beach. Section of a tree trunk near the western end of South Beach.
Section of a tree trunk near the western end of South Beach.
Remains of a discarded soft drink can near the western end of South Beach. Abandoned woman's sandal, found somewhere along East Beach.
Discarded - but full and unopened - water bottle at the southeast corner of the park, next to a rock jetty.
Western end of South Beach.  The water tower and "PLUNGE HERE" sign are visible in the distance.
Basketball court near the western end of South Beach. Basketball goal near the western end of South Beach.
Basketball court near the western end of South Beach.
Rock jetty at the west end of South Beach.  The Bay Bridge is visible in the distance. Rock jetty at the west end of South Beach.  The Bay Bridge is visible in the distance.
Rock jetty at the west end of South Beach.  The Bay Bridge is visible in the distance.
Waves arriving on shore at South Beach. Waves arriving on shore at South Beach.
Rock jetty at the west end of South Beach.  The Bay Bridge and the entrance to Mezick Ponds are visible to the left.

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