Sunday, November 28, 2010

Orvis Sandanona - A Hunting Experience

Currently I am employed at a small, yet very well-known hunting and shooting preserve in my hometown of Millbrook, New York. Orvis Sandanona is the oldest established hunting preserve in the nation, dating back to the late 1800s. Not only does it offer a world-class sporting clays course and a renown fly fishing school, but it also home to some of the premier guided wingshooting and tower release hunting on the east coast. As an employee there, I wear several hats, one of which is gathering photographs for the monthly member e-mails. I pulled four photos to show here from two events. The first two are from a duck hunt, the second two a pheasant hunt. Both hunts are called tower releases. In both cases the birds are released from a tower where they proceed to travel various "lanes" (Or not, in some cases. While they are pen raised birds, they are still wild and unpredictable). These lanes provide each hunting blind with several presentations of "flushing birds". Sandanona also offers more traditional field hunts, where dogs are used to flush birds from a field.

While I'm not photographing every day, I really enjoy this job. Growing up as a competitive shooter exposed me to this world, and I feel very at home in sporting environment.

Photos © Jason Lenhart

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ragan's Faith - Mpw.62

I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the 62nd annual Missouri Photo Workshop (or Mpw.62). Mpw has been documenting small town Missouri for 62 years now and has visited over 40 different small towns/cities. This year the workshop ventured to Macon, MO for the first time. With nearly 40 photographers and 20 amazing faculty members, we documented another year in "Small Town America".

I've also attached a few outtakes that didn't make the cut.

Photos © Jason Lenhart

Friday, September 3, 2010


I apologize for getting these up on my blog so late. Got bogged down with finding a job, and have posted many to Facebook, if you haven't already seen.

My sister and I had an amazing time vacationing in Australia. It was a beautiful place and we got to experience a lot of new things. A special thanks to our friends Chelsea Sektnan and John Schreiber for giving us a place to stay for two weeks. Without them, this trip would not have been possible.

Crabs on Rottnest Island.

There were many shipwrecks surrounding the coast of Rottnest Island.

Quokkas are the main attraction on Rottnest. Small marsupials that are rarely found on the mainland.

My sister violated the "do not touch since everything is deadly" policy of our trip rather often.

We stayed only a few blocks from the shore, where surfers, body boarders, kite boarders, and brave swimmers were often seen. The water stayed in the low 60 degrees Fahrenheit (High teens in celsius).

Feeding Kangaroos at a the Cohunu Koala Park in Byford, WA.

A dingo at the same park.

A native parrots.

A young Koala at Cohunu.

John Schrieber and I 40 meters (~130 feet) into the canopy of ancient tingle trees at the Valley of the Giants tree-top walk in Denmark, WA.

Along the coast, near Denmark, WA.

My 19-year old sister enjoying a legal beverage on her birthday in Albany, WA.

All photos © Jason Lenhart

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Natural Chesapeake

I have tons of wildlife photos from my past 10 weeks here in the Chesapeake Bay region. Put them together with a few clips from Maryland Public Television to create a simple video that will run on our site come final publication.

The Natural Chesapeake from Bay on the Brink on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Drove through this beautiful park just outside of Cambridge, MD a couple weeks ago. It's a major stop for thousands of migratory birds during migration seasons. Year-round, it's home to plenty of Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, and numerous other species of native and migratory birds.

Photos © Jason Lenhart

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cambridge Powerboat Regatta

Had an awesome experience photographing the 100th annual Cambridge Powerboat Regatta in Cambridge, Maryland. It featured ten different classes of boats over 4 days of adrenaline-fueled racing. For Sunday, the finals, I got on the turn boat with the inside turn 1 referee. I was about 15 yards from the turn buoy - when the Grand Prix boats went by at around 150mph, not only was it deafening, but you could feel the vibrations in your chest. Quite an experience.

Photos © Jason Lenhart

Thursday, July 22, 2010


They say that, to men, fishing is not a matter of catching. There is no definitive measure of success to the average recreational fishermen. It is, instead, a journey of self-fulfillment.

If, by the luck of the sea, you manage to hook the big one, you become embedded in an age-old test of man versus nature. For those brief minutes, or hours if you're lucky, the only thing that separates you from the reassurance of your dominance at the top of the food chain is a thin filament of line and a seemingly insurmountable ocean of water. And, should you land this behemoth, for that brief second you are all that is man for you have defeated your foe in an otherwise primitive battle of strength, wits, and patience. However, should than line go slack right at what always seem to be the climax of your struggle, you have not lost, but merely made an enemy... and it's personal. Every cast is aimed at your new foe, every bait is given that special touch, all irrational yet impertinent superstitions are brought to the table, and every tug on the line is surely the one. Silly? Yes, but we are men, and to each and every one of us, this is a battle our ancestors started, and a war we intend to finish.

However, there is another side to this great journey we face on the open sea. We wake up early, kiss the wife despite her disapproving eyes, and set out to exile ourselves from that which plagues our inner beings. We are alone, or with our fellow sea-goers, on a vast plain of rolling waves beneath which lie the mysteries of the unknown and, for one day - one whole day - we, as the hard-working men we have become, find ourselves surrounded by nothing. For the next 8 hours, we sit on a boat with our favorite beverage, line in the water, and do one thing; Think. We ponder everything from work to yesterday’s choices. From the trucks impending transmission failure to that girl back in college. Sure, we may commiserate with our fellow men, but the real conversation exists in an unheard dialogue between the sea at which we stare, and ourselves. All the while, unless it’s the “one that got away”, we could honestly care less what is happening to the bait resting on the sandy bottom. In fact, to hook a fish would detract from the progress we’ve made on visualizing our greatest fantasies. The only battle we are willing to engage in today is keeping our refreshment cold, for these 8 hours are ours to discover our inner man. If the day is spent doing nothing, then it’s a good day too.

You see, fishing is not called catching. Success falls upon the individual’s hopes for the day. Either way we always return home having gained something. Men have been fishing before man developed the skills to tell fish stories.

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Richard Whitener, of Powhatan, Virginia, watches his fishing rod for any indication that a fish may be at the other end while aboard the Rockin-n-Robin in the Chesapeake Bay. The Rock-n-Robin is a charter boat based out of Reedville, Va and, with captain Robin Sue behind the helm, frequently takes trips into the bay in search of all sorts of sport fish. News21 photo by Jason Lenhart

Photo © Jason Lenhart

Friday, July 9, 2010

Contained Animal Feeding Operations

CAFOs, for short, are large chicken farms, housing upwards of 25,000 chickens per 30,000 square foot house. Some farming operations, which are backed primarily by Perdue and Mountaire along the Eastern shore of Maryland, have more than 20 chicken houses. That's roughly half a million chickens, often more. I spent a few days traveling around, meeting farmers and taking photos of chicken farms from the road. Perdue and Mountaire both put heavy restrictions on access to their houses. They tell you it's for sanitary reasons, which is legitimate, but farmers, like Carole Morison, have lost contracts for speaking out against the poultry industry's practices, especially to the press. So while I haven't actually gotten into a CAFO yet, I did snap a few decent shots of large-scale CAFO operations all over the Eastern shore.

Carole Morison stands in front of her abandoned chicken houses on her property in Pocomoke City, MD. She currently leases out her farmland since losing her contract with Perdue several years ago. However, she says she has plans for a "Free Range" chicken operation to help educate on sustainable farming practices.

Photos © Jason Lenhart

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crab Picking Video

Just a simple, quick, b-roll compilation I did at the J.M. Clayton picking facility.

J.M. Clayton Crab Picking Facility from Jason Lenhart on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

J.M. Clayton Crab Picking Facility

A few images from the J.M. Clayton Crab Picking Facility in Cambridge, MD. I will post a full slideshow, with some video, later today, or maybe tomorrow. I'll also explain the whole process of crab picking - the Clayton Company is basically doing it the way it was done in the early 1900s.

Photos © Jason Lenhart

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Anacostia River pollution

The Anacostia, a Chesapeake Bay tributary, which runs right through our nation's capitol is considered one of the watershed's most polluted rivers. Not only is trash prominent, but storm water runoff feeds raw sewage directly into the river, basically whenever it rains. Took a trip to find some of the runoff drains, however I always manage to find wildlife wherever I go, like these Eastern Painted Turtles.

Photos © Jason Lenhart

Monday, June 28, 2010

Eastern Shore

Took a trip to the Eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay to gather some photos of wildlife, farming, shoreline construction, and general iconic images of the bay. News21 Maryland is beginning to come together now as we enter our last full month of work at the Merrill School of Journalism. Also, check out our redesigned blog, featuring a small header with my photos.

Photos © Jason Lenhart

Monday, June 14, 2010

2010 Great Chesapeake Bay Swim

This Sunday, June 13, 2010, was the annual Great Chesapeake Bay Swim. More than 600 swimmers took to the 71 degree water to swim the 4.4 miles across the bay, between each side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The swimmers entered the bay at Sandy Point State Park and finished at the Bay Bridge Marina. The winner, 15 year old Andrew Gyenis, finished with a time of 1:28:45. You can check out a complete gallery of my, as well as my colleagues, photos on our News21 Flickr Page.

Photo © Jason Lenhart

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Easton and St. Michaels, Maryland

Took a two-day trip to the Chesapeake Bay's eastern shore. I took some shots in Easton, and St. Micheals, while team members conducted interviews. The eastern shore of the bay really is a beautiful place.

Chance, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, was fascinating. He retrieved anything that got into the water. Most of his day is spent badgering people to toss crab basket lids into the water so he has something to do. However, he does actually "work". I got to watch as a worker launched a boat that he recently finished painting. During the launch, three wooden supports were dragged into the water. Chanced dove in, retrieved all 3 supports, brought them up on shore, and placed all three neatly back in the work area. No training at all.

Maryland Blue Crab are almost a currency in the Chesapeake Bay area. Watermen bring in their catches daily and sell them to markets. Generations upon generations have been making a living this way, however, due to increasingly hazardous water conditions, some have had to abandon crabbing all together.

Replacing a windex, an instrument that measures wind direction, on a cloudy afternoon in St. Michaels, MD.

The Nanticoke River.

Photos © Jason Lenhart

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mason Neck State Park Box Turtle

Took a hike today at the Mason Neck State Park in Virginia. It's on the Potomac just south of the Washington area. Right when I got out to the Eagle Bluffs blind it started to rain, on and off, occasionally pretty hard. I sat in the blind for 2 or 3 hours waiting out the rain since I had all my camera gear with me. While I was sitting there I got to watch a mated pair of Osprey dive for fish. I also spotted two Bald Eagles. Unfortunately, the blind was too far away to get anything great. It wasn't a complete bust though - I found this Eastern Box Turtle in the middle of the trail on my hike back.

Photos © Jason Lenhart