Category Archives: Cape Cod
Before the sharp gold first light of the morning bathed the red boat in my previous post, this is what I was photographing. The pink in the sky was reflecting into the bay, flooding it with its warmth and color. I was ready and not going to miss it. Sure, the quality of light in my previous post was dramatic “Cape Light,” but this was different, not better or worse, different and worthy of capture too.
My friend Lynette has written an excellent piece on her thoughts and lessons learned while on her most recent trip down the Colorado River. It is worthy of your time.
I have a post up on the Singh-Ray site about Palouse Light. You can see and read it here.
There are many who speak of something called “Cape light.” There was even a book written in the seventies call “Cape Light.” There is indeed something special about the light on Cape Cod, and on this morning, with the second group, we were treated to Cape light along with a red sailboat. I can assure you, there was some happy dancing going on on this morning!
You can see the retired Stage Harbor Lighthouse in the distance from this harbor. The light was not great on this evening, but worthy of a capture with the soft shades of pink and purple. This kind of harbor scene is a common sight in the Chatham area.
After shooting the yellow Dory in the glow of the soft gold light the sun quickly set behind a bank of clouds at the horizon. Steve, a friend I was shooting with, suggested we move to a location he found that had a bit more water creating a nice reflection. By choosing to shoot with a wide angle lens, I was able to capture the drama of the sky. I added the Dory and surrounding rocks in silhouette as an added element to my composition.
Before my trip to Cape Cod to co-lead two workshops, there was rumor of a famous yellow Dory being spotted. In fact, there were images sent of the storied Dory and an invitation to photograph it, as the tide was low at Sunset the night after I arrived. Why would I pass up an opportunity to see what the fuss was all about? Suffice it to say, I’m am now in love with the yellow Dory.
Stay tuned as the yellow Dory has lead my co-leader to learn of another Dory. This one being red and yes, the first group had a chance to photograph it this morning. All I’m going to say is, it was epic.
Each year as I look back through my images, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people I was able to share my passion with. To all who came on a workshop, a tour or attended a lecture, thank you! You have enriched my life. I am also reminded of the amazing places I was able to see. 2013 brought me to Cuba, Iceland, The Palouse, Charleston, New Hampshire, Death Valley, Cape Cod and Cape May! Wow what a year!
I’m looking forward to 2014 where in addition to the tours I do with Dan Sniffin, I will be co-leading a special workshop in Hawaii with with National Geographic photographer Jonathan Kingston and guest lecturers Dewitt Jones and Rikki Cooke . Look for our official announcement in January. The workshop will be in early December.
Here are some of my favorite images from the past year. You’ll notice I’m drawn to varied subject matter which includes the Palouse, my granddaughter Abby, the gentle waves of the dunes, the warm people of Cuba and the wonderful Experience Music Project building in Seattle.
Be the light. No really, be the light. Oft times we hear the masses exclaim, “its all about the light”, and they would be partly right. The quality of light is something we need to be keenly aware of. However, the light I’m speaking of is your own. The light we see is one thing, the light we bring to the act/process of image making is another thing. Ansel Adams said it this way, “You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, and the people you have loved.” Freeman Patterson says “The camera points both ways.” It sees what it sees but is also a reflection of you. Your light if you will. By the way, this includes the bad mood you’re in, feeling tired, feeling overwhelmed, the argument you just had with your spouse, etc, etc. The energy from this kind of light may or may not be a good thing. It depends on how you choose to use it and what type of images you are making. Just know that your light whatever that is, will become part of your images.
Fuji X-Pro1 – 55-200 lens.
My friend Steve Ellis was a participant at the workshop on the Cape. Steve knows Cape Cod, he and his family have either lived or vacationed there since he was born. He made a comment during the workshop about “Cape light.” I would agree with Steve, there are a few places where there seems to be a quality to the light that is only found there. My tour partner Dan pointed this out in Ireland with regard to Connemara light. While at this location, we were treated to just a few minutes of “Cape Light.” Magical!
Marty, a frequent blog visitor sent me an email about my last post. He shared something I felt would add to the discussion. He said, “Creativity can be a filter… When someone is trying to be creative (obviously not in itself a bad thing), they are to some degree actively imposing some part of their consciousness/identity/spirit/(word choice TBD) into the process, stirring up their internal dialog.
Your comments on being quiet, mindful, aware, allow the whispers of images hiding in plain sight to be heard, “ Psst, why don’t you see me? I’m right in front of you.” These images (IMHO) don’t need creativity, they just need to be recognized simply for what they are, nothing more, nothing less. Idle does not have to be passive.”
I have been pondering Marty’s thoughts all day. I believe he is right on the money and specifically can’t get this quote out of my head. “Being aware allows the whispers of images hiding in plain sight to be heard!” I LOVE THAT!!
I would add this, creativity does not need to be manufactured for the sake of being creative. Rather, we should strive to live a creative life which may not necessarily mean anything more than being idle and listening for those whispers. Other times it might mean, turning on the multiple exposures or moving your camera while making your exposure to create a swipe!
Fuji X-Pro1 18-55 lens f/8
I’ve been using social media much less. I still enjoy catching up with family and friends and find it to be a good “business” tool, however, the time I was investing was drawing me away from more important things. I also noticed that I was starting to feel competitive with regard to my photography where there is no place for competition. I was seeing others tremendous work and feeling pressure to produce equal or better quality. Feeling pressure to post yet another post showing I was still active, shooting, making worthwhile images. Then in some quiet time, I realized this is not who I want to be. Rather, I want to be able to trust. Trust in my ability to be a good photographer. I don’t want to feel the need for others accolades or approval. Don’t get me wrong, I’m human and kind words are alway welcome and feel good. I just don’t what to feel that I must receive them to validate what I’m doing. When I’m asked why I love photography, my answer is that it feeds my soul. I love the process of making photographs. I love how I feel when I’m out making images whether I get a “keeper” or not. I am finding I shoot much less now. I don’t shoot as many frames. I’m more in touch with what I’m being drawn to for subject matter. I’m more aware of the light. I’m more selective about what I want to photograph. I don’t sell much of my work, I don’t try very hard to do so either. Its just not that important to me. What is important? The experiences that I have been blessed with as a photographer. Photography has gifted me with many wonderful friends. Photography has blessed me with the opportunity to travel to places I never imagined I would. Photography has blessed me with being a teacher that I never knew I could be. This has allowed me to share my passion with others, nudging them to soar on their own wings, trusting themselves, believing they can create images that make their hearts sing! This gives me great joy and makes my heart sing.
As we approach the time of year when we are asked to make goals, might I suggest we forget about them? Yup, forget about them, at least with your photography life. Instead, I would encourage you to trust, to believe in yourself and in the creative process. Allow the creative process to happen on its own. And, know that trusting includes being okay with being idle. Nancy Rotenberg in her book, Photography and the Creative Life, has this to say about being idle. “Trusting the process also involves daring to be idle. We live in a culture that views idleness as something slovenly, lazy and non-production. It is only when you stop and reflect that you can be filled and recharged. What you photograph today could be the result of yesterday’s “idling”. The only way to know if awareness is entering your body is for you to slow down long enough to notice. Awareness gives you mindfulness. Mindfulness gives you insight.” Rather than feeling pressure to be creative, be okay with being idle, recognizing this idle time is good. Its okay to have times when you are not producing. I have written a number of songs. Oft times months pass before a new song would appear and even then, I would rewrite and change things over and over. Yet, my favorite songs seemed to come from out of nowhere and took just minutes to write. I believe they came out of inspiration, out of being idle and listening. They were not forced. Photography is much the same or at least it should be. This is really just an extension of what I’ve written about in previous posts with regard to chasing images. Be open to the creative process rather than chasing it. Trust your abilities and allow for creativity or images to present themselves. Don’t force it. For those who know me, being idle is not easy, however, as I try and practice it, I find I am more satisfied with the quality of my images.