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Morning Shadows

Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious. For whatever reason, we have passed by the National Cemetery in Beaufort, SC multiple times without giving it a thought. For whatever reason, I finally thought of it. So, we spent part of an afternoon and two mornings working the textures, the patterns, the trees. The cemetery’s standards of uniformity offer a calming counterpoint to the free form oaks. Seeing Civil War casualties one row over from a Viet Nam vet whose wife is buried with him (and marked on the reverse of the head stone) turns the quiet atmosphere into one of reflective introspection.

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Rain, Rain

Unexpected – unscheduled. But that’s the way life works out. We are back up in the mountains of Georgia helping out our friends from up here. And of course, never go anywhere without a camera.

So it rained yesterday afternoon. When it does, the near hills can present an interesting challenge. The ridge lines stack up nicely back framed by mist and, if we are really lucky, mists come off the hills in drifts and wisps. So the challenge is to capture it all if at all. Color didn’t do the unfolding scene justice so B & W it is.

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Maine Event

Maybe I should do this post as a press release advertising when the April issue of PassageMaker magazine will be out. It’s coming and I am really pleased with the Penobscot Bay piece we did for them. So I should be pleased to announce its impending arrival. The careful observer will note Dee gets authorial credit and that is as it should be. Our image submissions include material by both of us and she does editorial review. I just make up stuff and hammer away on the keyboard.

So why are we so pleased? We combined with the folks at PassageMaker to prove the Less is More Principle. I had a limited word assignment. Circumnavigate Penobscot Bay in 1,100 words – that’s nothing. Then submit lots of images of which only 7 are used. That’s less than nothing. Unless all that is there is suggestive of more around the corner and in the next harbor or in the next paragraph were I to write it.

Our Post Card image captures my present suggestive theme so well. It is becoming our boat’s signature image powerful because it places us in context, a context only partially revealed. Windjammers have their own set of associations and trigger differing reactions so invite the viewer’s mind to wander. A famous photographer is want to tell us that if we want to take interesting images stand in front of interesting stuff. Our take on that is to hang out in interesting places with interesting stuff and let the rest take of itself.

Nice to know others think so – in 1,100 words or less and down to 800 words for the next assignment – but with lots of pictures.

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Back At Work

But not really work  So let’s say back at the keyboard again thanks to friends in high places as in I got an assignment from the new Executive Editor of PassageMaker magazine. Write an impressionistic article about going south with lots of pictures. Pictures are easy. It’s gratifying to see that they chose to open the piece with a two page photo spread.  Words are easy. Limiting oneself to the assigned limit (1,500 words) required disciplined pacing.  As one of my reader friends put it –  that’s covering a lot of ground for only going 8 knots. It is but wait until the April issue comes out. As of now I have the cover’s featured article: Cruising Penobscot Bay in Maine, 1,100 words and lots of pictures. Don’t yet know what it will look like. I submit more images than they will use and their art director selects.

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Another year – another winter’s day. We have been able to send out new year’s morning greetings with a new sunrise image from up in the Georgia mountains. This year the mountain morning image has already gone out and it was no sunrise. So, unable to continue a tradition, let’s get a start on the new year and get a start on goals for the year. Photography web sites are preaching ways to take stock and to set on a disciplined plan to improve. One suggests we think about what we are good at and to concentrate on developing that focus. Dee likes the more intimate scene, is good with them and so will follow this path. I am more contrarian. I want to work on weaknesses hence the image submitted. Need to get better at the complex image, the delicate image.

These trees (American Beech if I am correct) fit the bill. They add delicacy and color to upland deciduous forests as they seem not to want to release their leaves – and present quite a challenge. Our eye selectively focuses on the tree nicely tuning out all sorts of competing and distracting neighbors. The camera grabs it all, wanting to produce a busy mess. Maybe this roadside stand gave me the just enough clearance to work a scene for complexity and delicacy. Step one maybe.

In the meantime . . .

Happy New Year. May your wishes and plans and goals give you a good year.

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