December in Punta Cana
In December 2015, my wife Tina and I traveled to the Dominican Republic to attend the wedding of our friends John and Steph. John and I met in college in 1999 and bonded over our mutual love of music and being the only two guys in school who wore nail polish. We discovered photography together, and he, Tina, and I spent a good chunk of the early 2000s discussing cameras/music/life while driving around Baltimore in John’s vintage purple 1969 Volkswagen Beetle convertible (and occasionally on the side of the road repairing said Beetle). John is the only photographer I know who started shooting on film at the dawn of the digital era and never made the switch to shooting digitally.
There’s something magical about standing, feet half-buried under warm sand, staring across a blank expanse of blue horizon.
After our school days came to an end, the years went by, and life happened, we no longer spent as much time together, but John remains one of my best friends. Tina and I were flattered when he shot as a guest at our wedding in 2014. It was an honor to be given the opportunity to return the favor for John and Steph, and at the same time experience a bit of Caribbean paradise.
Punta Cana is located on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic. When viewed on a world map, you’ll find it due south of Bar Harbor, Maine. The weather—as one would expect from a Caribbean locale—was gorgeous, and for the most part, consistent. Warm, but not too hot and not very humid, with gentle breezes, and quick little rainstorms that seemed to last only about the duration of a long traffic light.
There’s something magical about standing, feet half-buried under warm sand, staring across a blank expanse of blue horizon. The notion of standing on that same beach, with that same view at nearly any point in Earth’s history evokes a connection to the essence of life itself, where everything else falls away, leaving only sand, sea, and sky.
All color photos taken at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana | December 2015
Hasselblad 500C/M + 80mm Planar f/2.8 CT* | Nikon FE + Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AI
Kodak Portra 160 and Kodak Portra 400 film