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Friday, September 2, 2011

Failure: its Own Reward

If you are you familiar with Middle Passages, you may be aware that sometimes I get an image in my mind and obsess over capturing it digitally.   Notwithstanding I have no training and rudimentary equipment, the urge to document a vision my mind conjures can border on a fixation.  I’ll level with you though.  I never get what I want.  But in failing to record what I hope for, I often get something else.

A bit of background here.  If you go back one post, and scroll to the bottom, you will find a picture of a lovely Herrshoff 12.5, anchored at the mouth of our harbor.  In the distance Minot Lighthouse guards granite ledges that chomp like monster teeth a mile out.  When I took that picture the other day during a walk, it occurred to me the scene I was photographing pointed east.  Aha…she plots.  A sunrise photo.   I could just see it—a vast orange ball straight-arming itself over the edge of the navy horizon, spliced in two by the stone monolith that has protected our waters for 150 years.  The sun’s reflection would lay a path to that simple sailboat.

So, when I woke at 5:30 this morning, I threw on some clothes, splashed my face with water, and raced out to give it a try.  

By the time I made it to the bench overlooking the boat, morning was beginning to scrub the night sky  with peach and pink. The sun had yet to crack the horizon, but it was clear its appearance would occur south of the lighthouse, eliminating any hope of freezing the image I sought.   

But that was okay.  As I sat amid the rhythmic lap of water and heckling seagulls, two herons with their long legs tucked flush, glided overhead like streamlined paper airplanes.  The chest-deep cough of a lobster boat sounded; a camper emerged from one of the colorful tents on the barrier beach lining our harbor and took a sunrise stroll down the length of the jetty. 



I sat, focusing on the lightening sky, the purple water rippling toward me on a steady breeze, the briny tang of low tide, the clank of halyards hitting the aluminum masts on the sailboats moored in the harbor.  Then, as the sun cracked the horizon, I lifted the camera and took what I could get.
   



Posted by PicasaHappy Labor Day Weekend All.  What are your plans for the holiday weekend?  I am participating in KarenG's Labor Day Weekend BBQ Blogfest.  Click here to check it out.

24 comments:

EmptyNester said...

One of the things I love about living on the coast are the sunrises---and sunsets! So lovely! Your captures are gorgeous! And I love what you said about failure leading to something else!

GigglesandGuns said...

Wonderful! These are beautiful. I love them.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

What a lovely way to demonstrate what sometimes happens when we don't get what we want.
Sometimes for me I end up realizing I only thought I wanted a particular shot. It is the unique bane of us photo lovers.
We end up loving the images anyway in spite of ourselves. Don't we?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Even if it's not what you wanted, the images are still great!

Lydia K said...

Those are amazing. Just amazing. Worth waking up early for!

jbchicoine said...

Oh my, Liza! These are simply stunning! Makes me want to move back east so bad! Makes me want to turn STORY for a SHIPWRIGHT into a picture book and put your photos in there! :)

Amalie said...

Hi Liza,

Stopping by from Karen's BBQ. I love the shots. There's something very powerful about silhouettes against a colorful horizon. I adore the shot with the bench and trees, the composition and colors are fantastic.

(Artist secret: No one captures exactly what they had in mind when they set out, but a lot of the time end up with something better if they're not be married to the exact details of the idea.)

Possum said...

Hi Liza
also stopping by from the BBQ.
I love the concept of not neglecting to value that 'something else' one gets when you dont get what you hope for.
Lovely shots.

mshatch said...

lovely photos. I wish I could get up early enough to catch the sunrise...I've done it before, but rarely! Love trying to capture the changing light.

Anne Gallagher said...

I swear Liza, I'm not coming back here anymore. Not if you're going to keep taking pictures like this and using descriptive verse that captures the ocean in my soul. I swear I'm not.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

And why didn't I think to go meet you while I was in RI this summer?

Kittie Howard said...

Hi, Liza! I'm dropping in from Karen's BBQ and am your latest follower. Nice to meet you!

Your photos are fantastic - thank you! My hub's from New Hampshire and, oh, but that New England scenery is incredible!

We're heartsick about all the hurricane damage!!! We were just up in Vermont - We're still driving up (from VA) to NH to visit family/view leaves .. know sturdy NE will bounce back!

Wine and Words said...

I do the same thing! Obsess about a shot and never get it. The treasure comes when I upload my photos (which I am too blind to see on my camera) to my computer (where I blow them up BIG) and find I have a picture I never imagined I captured!

KarenG said...

This weekend we are cleaning house and getting the yard and garden ready for fall/winter. So dull, yawn. And taking frequent breaks to visit the party-goers to my BBQ post and saying hi!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Those pictures are breathtaking! Wow.

Nice to meet you here at Karen's party. Count me in as your newest follower.

Cheryl said...

I get the exact same way! I've seen that sunrise so often and it never gets old. Lovely capture.

Bish Denham said...

Mouth open.Wow.That's all I can say.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've done photography on a professional level for over 20 years and I still don't always capture what I envision. Sometimes the best shots come by accident though. What you captured is quite beautiful!

Jayne said...

What beautiful pictures. I love all three - but maybe the middle one sings most to me - as I want to be that person striding along the jetty. :)

Ella said...

Gorgeous! I am from Maine now living in North Carolina. I like it here, there is beauty everywhere, but I miss being by the bay! You described it well; I feel homesick ;D (I was kidnapped by a sailor years ago and have been swept up in his nautical journey)! lol

Creepy Query Girl said...

wow- very beautiful! New follower here from the BBQ! Nice to 'meet' you!

jabblog said...

I love your header - so serene. Well done with the sunrise shots, too - always rewarding, though the rest of the day can seem very long;-)
I'm visiting from Karen's barbecue. I'm Janice from jabblog in Berkshire, UK. My blog's a way to keep some sort of record of what's happening - though there's not much there of national or international interest:-)

Alison Miller said...

Wow! Those pictures are breath taking. And what beautiful words to describe each one.

Yes, in failure we can find reward. Lovely post.

Donna said...

Wow. These are some breathtaking photos. I'm jealous. I grew up in New England and nothing beats the gorgeous views.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh my goodness! Those pictures are amazing!! In fact, I can so picture that one with the bench as a book cover.

Had BBQs all weekend, so today I'm finally chillin'. :-)