For nearly 20 years I’ve traveled the world recording fascinating people and remote places while producing stories for National Geographic Magazine. But it was watching the seasons change in his own back yard that captivated him and kept me filming for nearly five years. My backyard happens to be the marshes and creeks of the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake is a region filled with subtle color, quiet rhythms, an ebb and flow of wildlife and seasons, and I wanted to capture this “sense of place.”

My goal was to capture the essence of Bay life through the subtle seasonal changes from summer, fall and winter along the region’s mashes, bays, and wood lands. It is a story told in the small things; the subtle layers of green as spring releases new leaves, crystal water drops lining a spider’s web, vintage tall ships gliding across the Bay, a forest of reds and bronzes, a sunrise filled with migratory waterfowl, and a snowfall silencing the moon on the winter solstice.

I always loved the work of photographer Elliot Porter. He believed that you expose the essence of a place by looking at the small things, the plants and leaf patterns along a quiet path.  The bigger story could be told through the small pieces of life.


The 27-minute video offers lush photography and the original music score evokes the mood and character of the seasonal themes it celebrates. The production offers a visual-musical meditation on the Bay, giving viewers a different look at familiar territory.

Richard Olsenius won the World Press Photo award for work on Cambodian refugees and his films have won awards at the New York and Chicago International Film Festivals. Olsenius came to the Bay area 18 years ago when his contract photography led to a position of photo editor and website producer at National Geographic Magazine. After leaving the Magazine, Olsenius produced several books, one with novelist Garrison Keillor and he continues to produce music and videos.

Chesapeake Visions makes an excellent gift for Bay lovers. The DVD and BluRay versions will be available directly from or purchased at selected Bay gift outlets, Eastport Art Gallery, or as an iBook on Apple’s iTunes.


All rights reserved and copyright ©2013 Richard Olsenius and

Landscape Photography, Video & Music by Richard Olsenius

Chesapeake Visions: Celebrating a Sense of Place

Chesapeake Visions (90 sec Trailer)

Midway along the vast Atlantic coastline lies a large estuary where freshwater from a hundred streams blends with saltwater from the ocean. It is called the Chesapeake Bay - an Algonquin term for “land along the big river.”