For photography, perhaps more than anything thing else I’m involved in, having a group of people who can give you solid feedback when you ask for it, applaud when you’ve done well, and give you a kick in the pants from time to time is absolutely critical. These need not be accomplished photographers themselves but people who are going to give you a relatively unbiased opinion, who want to help you succeed and will hold you accountable. To those people in my life thank you!
As the days get longer I’m finding it increasingly difficult to get up for sunrise shoots. I’m not sure that there’s really a cure for that other than sheer dogged determination to get up and get going, something I was reminded the other day as being the hallmark of a true professional. It’s not hard to understand the motivation to get up and get going when you are often treated to glorious sunrises such as the one I was greeted with on a recent visit to what has become one of my favorite beaches. This shot and others like it are posted in prominent places around my home and every morning I don’t get up for a morning shoot they scream ‘look what you’re missing!’.
Although I do my best to make sure that I am up and out shooting on mornings when I’m likely to get ‘good light’ there are those days that I just don’t get it right. This morning was a good example of that. I had been expecting to add to my collection of photos of rocks at the waters edge but as it got lighter, or rather as it didn’t get much lighter I realized that the weather forecast of partial cloud cover must have been for somewhere else! In reality there’s no such thing as bad light, only light that’s not appropriate for your subject. With the even light that comes with cloudy mornings I turned my attention to the beach – patterns in the sand and anything else could find. I’m not sure what the story is behind this rope – how long has it been part of the beach scene?, where did it come from?, will it be uncovered the next time I visit? – but it was a willing subject on a day when I thought I was going to have to go home without making a frame.
I’ve been continue to work on photographing the seashore and in particular rocks in the water. As summer approaches sunrise gets ever earlier, making it increasing unlikely that I will hit my self imposed goal of being on location an hour before sunrise. I enjoy being on location while it is still dark and waiting for the right light. On this particular morning I was on location 30 minutes before sunrise, with it being almost sunrise by the time I got a shot that I liked. Once the sun appeared on the horizon I felt it was too bright to make the photographs that I was looking to make and I headed for home and breakfast.
It wasn’t until recently that I became aware of Aaron Siskind and his photographs of peeling posters and peeling paint. This style of abstract seem to have penetrated the psyche of many photographers myself included. Wanting to look for something different, I’ve begun a series of photographs of old painted signs, many of which are directly onto the brick of the building. I have walked by the relatively non-descript building that was the subject for the image above many times before I noticed the faded signs. My only explanation is that the building had been white washed, which when removed revealed the much older signage below. I’m now on the hunt for more of these old painted signs, so let me know if you know of one.
I continue to explore the coast and harbors close to home looking for different viewpoints. On this particular morning I was on location while it was still dark and as the sky began to lighten ventured beyond the warmth of my car. Overnight there had been a light dusting of snow, most of which had been blown away but some remained, to provide highlights to the buildings and rocks. Unfortunately what I took for snow on the breakwater was actually a layer of ice. Waves washing up and over the breakwater had left the breakwater with a thin, but very slick coating of ice. My first confident step onto the ‘snow’ put me very quickly on my back. Fortunately neither me nor my gear were worse for wear and I was able to make this image. I was however much more careful as I returned to the car!
When I was on vacation with my family last summer I came across these interesting pilings at the beach. I felt that this would make a good subject for a photograph but didn’t have an opportunity to return to make the photograph I had imagined. Fortunately we were back in the area recently and I made the most of the one morning that we had clear skies to make the image above.