Today, the rapid acceptance of digital imaging has created an enormous and highly profitable market for all manner of photographic tools.
The dates of this journey were the 16th through the 18th of July 2013 which means it’s taken me a long time to write this post. I’ve also gone beyond the normal length for a blog post and am rapidly approaching a small novel. However, believe it or not, there is an awful lot that I have omitted such as the bald eagle Andy spotted and maneuvered into shooting distance for ten minutes before we had even left the harbor. I haven’t mentioned my new friend Jim Caldwell and his courageous wife or the Canadian helicopter that interrupted our visit (but not the birds). I guess I’m trying to say that this day was an unparalleled treasure for me and long in the waiting.
So I’ve felt compelled to try to capture the scope of this rich experience in words and I can only hope I’ve at least partially succeeded or more importantly that I can hold your attention until you read to the end.
When I mention to people that I am a Nature Photographer there are almost without exception a few assured responses based around what could be called the True Nature Photographer Archetype. You know: hikes alone 25 miles into the wilderness to a secret location where the rare white unicorn can be seen or travels the world to distant lands shooting for National Geographic with an expense account and local guides who carry all the gear.
Last Wednesday and Thursday I had planned to be on a boat to Machias Seal Island to photograph Puffins, a trip I’ve wanted to make for several years now, but several discouraging weather reports as well as uncertainty as to whether the ship would actually attempt an island landing on Thursday, prompted me to reschedule this adventure to this coming week. In the mean time I’ve been working on the never ending challenge of editing current work to see what sings to me.
In 1785, Robert Burns in his poem “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough” penned the memorable line “In proving foresight may be vain: The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley”. Although most only quote the last eleven words, the preceding five may be the most valuable and contrary to many photographers chest thumping proclamations that research and preparing are the foundation of meaningful imaging, sometimes the failure of foresight yields unexpected treasures (aka keepers). I resist stating some of these imaging idiosyncrasies for fear of being tarred and feathered by the cognoscenti however just today I found a well-known professional with the courage to visit the same subject here.
While rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated, they may be fueled by a dearth of activity on this blog. My long absence is a story that is multifaceted, however the Readers Digest version could be simply stated, “Stuff Happens” (You may substitute the colloquial expletive if you so desire.)
We all have started a simple project; one which we have wanted to tackle for a long time. The concept itself is often pretty basic: “I want to clean up the boxes that have been sitting in the attic and taking up space for what seems like eons. The process seems to be a singular step or maybe two: “I’ll empty them out ‘one by one’, throwing out all the worthless or uninteresting stuff and compact the rest into boxes by category.” Alas however, we all know that any project soon succumbs to the “Topsy Effect”, a phrase I invented to describe the inevitable expansion of an endeavor to never imagined proportions. The Topsy Effect” refers directly to the moment in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic “Uncle Toms Cabin” where the delightful black child Topsy is asked “Topsy, “Do you know who made you?” To which she tacitly replies, “I Jus Growed!”
It’s the last day of 2012 and I’m grateful for a safe journey front-to-back. I almost said uneventful but although that’s a convenient euphemism for a period without crisis, I think it is really a sacrilege to say that something as precious as a year passed without a person’s notice of the miracles and wonders that occur every second of every day.
A photographer should be about the business of capturing some of these events that would otherwise be ignored and invalidated by most of us if no effort were made to grant the day it’s just due. As a way of reflecting on my year I’ve quickly selected twelve photographs to try to caption with my version of meaning.