A little street photography, beauty, Ocean, Sand Sculptures, sky

20th Annual Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition…a little late this year but it happened!

Good day everyone! I thought I would set the feature image with this to freak you out a little bit but also to give you pause. Isn’t this amazing? This is only a small of this sculpture so wait until you see the whole thing…front and back. This stop for the day ends in Hampton Beach, NH for our almost annual trip to the sand sculpture competition.

While trying to verify the names of each sculptor and where they were from I discovered that this started in 2000 by Gregory Grady, local artist and master sand sculptor…this part I knew…and it all began with one quarter…a New Hampshire quarter to be precise. Mr. Grady, commissioned by the U.S. Mint to create a larger than life replica of the back side of the new state quarter at the Hampton Beach Children’s Festival. The rest is history!

This competition is usually held in June but this year…well, you know…the whole Covid thing it got pushed off. It is the 20th Anniversary of it being in Hampton Beach and for awhile it was questionable but it was decided to hold it and people were awesome about wearing masks and safe social distancing wherever possible. And for the first time…I think ever…they closed down the main drag in town and a lot of the side streets so doing a little street photography was possible too. The street did reopen the Tuesday after Labor Day. I only went to Hampton Beach this one time this year but I think I like having it closed. I wonder if they will do it again?

We started out in North Hampton, NH which very close to the beach…my occasional travel companion, Thelma, was craving some seafood and this location is seasonal and didn’t have the menu to complete that craving…but they have a year round location in Portsmouth that fit the bill so off we went…about 8 miles or so as the crow flies. Oh…this location is The Beach Plum. Very delicious seafood, hamburgers, etc plus all the reviews raved about the ice cream cones/cups they have though we were way too full to discover it for ourselves. We actually threw food away because we knew we would be walking around the boardwalk and the food would go bad in Mondays heat. Nothing fancy…just good food. I thought I took pictures of our combo plates but I guess I was too hungry and just started eating!

Off to Hampton Beach and the sand sculptures we go! Finding parking wasn’t too bad though it was pretty busy there…just not typical Labor Day busy. Walking up the main drag was interesting with street musician in several locations. I was taking a picture of the balloon guy who was happily waving at me and some guy behind me starts calling out “take my picture, take my picture, take my picture”…when I turn around he grabs his woman and keeps telling me, as she keeps trying to walk away. I said I wasn’t going to take her picture unless she agreed and he kept saying “look at her…she is warming up to the idea”, “look at that smile on her face”, “she really wants her picture taken”…and suddenly she relaxed and agreed! I took two pictures of them and asked what I was supposed to do with them…he said “enjoy the great memory of meeting us.” I told her if she wanted to share her e-mail address I would send them to her so she gave it to me. I finally got a chance to send them to her late last night and she answered immediately that they loved them. Aww…happy chance encounter! I won’t share their pictures because I didn’t get permission to post…sorry…they really were a cute couple!

I am going to try to post pictures broken down into groups…walking the main drag/boardwalk, pre/post-sunset sculptures, some in color, some I shot in monochrome, some I changed to black and white so more detail could be seen, sunset sculptures (they did have the area somewhat illuminated), sunset with and without kites, etc. One of the first things we noticed when we were walking up to the main road was that the flag was flying at half-mast in several spots. I didn’t think about it as we were walking around but likely could be out of respect for the 19th anniversary of 9/11?

Before we found a parking spot we saw this really cool old yellow pick-up truck and as we were walking up to the main drag we saw it again so that is where I start with the street photography though I was only able to get it from the back…well, that is where I planned to start but WP had its own idea on where that picture should be placed…but it is there! Note Timi Hendrix (who along with Covid Lee Roth are Battlescar Prophylactica…we never saw Covid Lee Roth perform though I think I saw her along the fence at one point) and @dantedrums…wish I had video of both to share though I looked up both and all I found for Timi Hendrix was a German rapper who didn’t look like the guy on the street in Hampton Beach and a white guy playing drums @dantedrums and the guy on the street here was not white?! There were two other sources of live music…one was up on the balcony…see one of the flag images…and one was not visible to me. Great experience…the dog was a beautiful surprise and the drunk who waltzed by with shoes in hand…just part of the evening! It’s funny when looking at these…I knew the balloon guy knew I was taking his picture because he waved to me. I didn’t realize Timi Hendrix had been peering at me over the top of his glasses! 🙂 And that RV!!! The longest darn RV with an attached camo trailer I ever saw…no idea what that was about!

Pre-sunset sand sculptures…many duplicates because I tried to get them from several angles..they were all very cool though compared to years past, there did not seem to be as many and several appeared to have an unfinished look. I am guessing not all that typically travel for sand sculpting competitions would be willing to travel this year.

This is “Mood Swing” done by Rusty Croft from Carmel, CA. Not my favorite but I thought I had several angles of this. The details with the hands and muscles are amazing!

Then we have “Lady in Repose” done by David Andrews from Wisconsin. The head shot from this one is currently my Facebook cover photo…the face is beautiful and I would love to know who was in his head as he was sculpting this. See the after sunset images for more of this lady!

These amazing pieces of art were done as a group by all participants in the competition and the details on some are amazing! My favorite is the Ogre though the owl, hummingbird, fairy and gnome are pretty cool and detailed also

Next up is the 1st Place WinnerMelineige Beauregard from Montreal, Canada with her piece, “Second Star to the Right and Straight to Morning.” I don’t understand what is supposed to be in what I think is a net but it is an intriguing piece of art. The clouds and stars were missed the first few times I took pictures of it. And…the 3rd or 4th time I saw it I realized there were two people climbing down…upside down! No worries…I have more in the after sunset section. **Update…I just read that this is supposed to be a Peter Pan inspired piece of a man and woman floating above the clouds. Not 100% getting that but okay**

The 2nd Place WinnerAbe Waterman from Prince Edward Island, Canada won with “Yesterdays Serenade

Then there is “Knock Knock” done by Chris Guinto of Florida…an interesting dragon with a wave coming up over him and a sailboat sitting on it. This won the first ever Governor’s Choice Award. Interesting…chosen because the Governor’s son loves dragons…well, that and it is cool.

Next up is the 4th Place winner… “Just Breathe” by Karen Fralich from Toronto.

Winner of the Sculptor’s Choice Award was Greg Grady for his piece, “I Believe“. Greg’s father is the founder/creator of this competition starting in 2000. He has won numerous competitions. Though there is no money connected to winning this award, it is said to be a very prestigious award.

Next is “Squid Pro Quo” by Carl Jara of Ohio. Described as a very tense and timely piece!

And last but not least…”It’s Overwhelming” by Justin Gordon of Massachusetts. In my opinion this is a most amazing piece with such detail that it should have placed…but they are all so wonderful!

At this point I am torn…do I move onto the sculptures after dark and illuminated by the lights or do I change it up with the sunset and then end with the sunset sculptures? I decided to go now with the after sunset sculptures and end with sunset. I am not going to label all the sculptures again…it is a fairly short read so I think you can remember which is which and if not…it is a short scroll back to double check. Well…that and its after midnight and I’ve been doing this for 5–6 hours with a little time out to make dinner…:-)

Sunset…color in the sky, a few kites and a lot of wires! I never realized how many wires criss-cross the streets in Hampton Beach…I guess because I am not usually there at night looking up? Nope…been to concerts at night at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom. Hmm…not sure why I never noticed before but it doesn’t look safe to have that many wires out there.

And this ends a couple of gorgeous hours in Hampton Beach on a beautiful 2020 Labor Day! Well, we still have to drive 75 minutes back to my house and she has another at least 30 minutes from there back to her house…but you get it! 🙂

You know the routine by now….come visit me at my page on Facebook, on Instagram and at my website.  If you find something you like on my blog and you don’t find it for sale, please contact me.  I will be updating my Loving Life site removing a lot of what is for sale now and putting some new items up for sale, concentrating on note cards, magnets and prints.  

Instagram: lovinglifewithkmgphotography 

See you on the road!— Love you all…thanks for traveling with me!!!

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
― anaïs nin

Sand Sculptures, sky, travel

Sand Sculptures anyone?

I was going through my folders to see what to post next when I came across a couple years of folders with the Hampton Beach NH Sand Sculpting competition images and it made me realize…I never saw anything about that this year.  Normally held mid-June, this year would have been the 20th annual…so I got curious…would they cancel the 20th annual because of the virus?  I know they recently opened the beach back up again though they changed the route in and out of town…long story!…well, turns out they have postponed it to late August-early September.  

I didn’t make it up last year because of my sister’s health or the year before because I was in Canada but my friend “Thelma” and I had gone several years starting in 2011.  One year we missed it for some reason but we ended up going to the competition at Revere Beach…we didn’t even know there was one at Revere Beach…we went there to eat at an ocean front restaurant and happened to discover the sand sculptures.  

All of the images you are going to see are unedited from a really old camera and some taken on the phone.  Since there is no real stories behind the days being posted I will try to limit the number of pictures to those over the years at both beaches that I feel are best.  

I will say Hampton Beach is a great place to visit for the day if you are in southern New Hampshire…finding parking is often difficult so get there very early in the day or later in the day when the crowds have thinned.  Plenty of beach to enjoy, plenty of square footage to walk or people watch, a lovely “boardwalk”, a pavilion  for performances, the Hampton Beach Casino (which is not a casino) to see some great shows, restrooms and plenty of restaurants…and stores if you are into beach kitsch. And some of the best fried dough out there!  Oh…and kites, very interesting and sometimes very large kites.  

There is always a centerpiece on display.  Typically on the first day when it all begins, 200 tons of sand are dumped…not regular beach sand…and 100 tons of it go to the “centerpiece” which highlights the sponsors of the competition.  The image above is just a small example of the 2012 centerpiece.  “Thelma” and I typically go up after all the sculpting is completed and judging has been done.  

It boggles my mind the amount of detail that goes into these sculptures.  I have always been curious what these artists do they other 358 days of the year.  Interestingly, I have never goggled it and I google every curious thing that pops into my head.  🙂 

So having said that I had never googled any of the artists to see what they do the rest of the year I had to google someone so I picked Greg Grady because he has been in every competition I have been to so his name stuck in my head.  Turns out his father is one of the founders of the Hampton Beach competition.  He does to do sculpting year round in sand, ice, snow, wood and pumpkins and competes around the world.  He was the 5th place winner last year with a design called “Ask Seek Knock”…I also want to share the centerpiece for last years event…Both of these images are from the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting page on Facebook

Back to a few more from Hampton Beach and Revere Beach

I hope you enjoyed a little peek into what I typically like to do on a summer day trip fairly close to home…a good sand sculpting competition at beautiful Hampton Beach New Hampshire!  

Enjoy your summer!  

               You know the routine by now….come visit me at my page on Facebook, on Instagram and at my website.  If you find something you like on my blog and you don’t find it for sale, please contact me.  I will give you a quote.
Instagram: lovinglifewithkmgphotography 
See you on the road!
— Love you all…thanks for traveling with me!!!

“You don’t have to be rich to travel well. ” – Eugene Fodor