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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another Photo Fixation

On Monday mornings in the spring and the fall, a group of us prepare and serve a breakfast for seniors in an old lightkeeper’s house, overlooking the harbor.  All season long, as I've driven from home and turned the corner to where the waterfront unfolds before me, I’ve sighed at the image of a lone cat boat floating in the quiet harbor. On a several occasions, I tried  to capture the simplicity of its clean lines while it drifted, a Siamese twin to its own reflection.  Whenever I had my camera though, the wind rippled the water, or low tide made for an unappealing backdrop.  The pictures I took didn’t do the thing justice. 

But at 8:00 this past Monday morning, the air was damp, the leaves on the trees motionless, and when I turned the corner, a gloss of still water mirrored the boat.  This was the picture I’d been waiting for.  I turned to the seat next to me where I keep the camera, only to realize it sat on the desk at home, where I’d left it.  When I moaned about forgetting my camera to my fellow volunteers, two of them offered me the use of their I-phones to take the photo, but it wouldn’t be the same.  Expletive deleted. 

Ever hopeful, I drove to the harbor before seven on Tuesday.  The tide was lower than the day before, and though not motionless, the water was calm.  Perhaps I’d get a few good shots off.  I framed the boat, realized I needed a different lens, took a wide angle shot, then returned to the car to get the telephoto. 

Timing can be everything, or timing can be nothing.  By the time I got back, lobstermen where shuttling themselves out to their boats. While I waited for the water to calm after they killed their motors, the wind kicked up.  

In photography, preparation and planning matter, of course, but then there is just plain luck.  As it pertains the the lovely cat boat, I’m still waiting for mine.


Old Kitty said...

I think you got your timing just right for these pics! Love the stillness of the images! Take care

Carol Kilgore said...

I see in my mind the image you're after. But the tiny ripples give this life. I like it :)

I wasn't a photography major and I don't play one in real life :)

Jemi Fraser said...

These are lovely! I think your timing's pretty darn good :)

Robin said...

I can see what you what you were looking for here, but what you got was life. Think of the quote, "A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not ships were built for." Yes, a still shot of a boat on even stiller water is lovely, but so is a boat doing its job. A working boat. Try changing your personal lens and see if you can see the beauty in it.

BTW, I dedicated something to you on Wednesday. Hope you like it.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

As one who has spent a lot of time behind the lens myself, I have worked very hard to realize that the things I have seen in my minds eye are wonderful and worth having been seen, even if I can't share them with others. I think that's the hardest part sometimes, but we do especially cherish those images that we can share and they are all the more special because we do know just how difficult they can be to get.

Kittie Howard said...

Liza, these photos are great! Love those ripples on the water. But, if I hadn't been to NE, I wouldn't know what you were after. I've seen it a few times in the early a.m., and think 'it' can be captured on film any better than your photos.