Part Three: Thaw
As day approached its close, a man appeared and climbed a small bluff, facing away from the sunset and toward the light playing on the shattered high dune to the south west. He erected a tripod and mounted a painter’s box and a 6 x 8 canvas.
Soon he was painting away with the glorious sunset behind him; a sunset punctuated by the still dramatic clouds left over from Sandy’s atmospheric violence. Although the light was changing by the second as it does when the sun is racing to the horizon, he took precious time to speak to a woman passerby whom I’ll assume was an inquisitive stranger. Meanwhile I swiveled my tripod and began to take photographs of him with the charming sunset behind him. His presence completed the scene so much more than a simple illustration of the light itself. Here was the light and the magic of someone capturing it at the apex of its glory. “Yet Look. He’s pointed the other way. What could he be seeing just out of our view?”
Not wanting to distract him with my machinations, I took nine shots, trying to balance exposure for the backlighting with exposure for some detail in the foreground. Then after stopping, 180 degrees contrary to my prior caution, I subjected him to a sure as shooting imposition by climbing up to his viewpoint to get his name, contact information and let him know that he had become part of my image.
Personally, during the last 30 minutes of the day I do not welcome interruptions while I’m shooting. Although I will try to remain civil, as the average passerby doesn’t know how important and rapidly changing this light is, I’m not libel to engage in a lengthy conversation or display an ear-to-ear smile like Isaac on the Love Boat. This man however, gently and kindly told me his name was Thaw (Malin)and that he paints nearly every day, selling his paintings on Ebay. His manner was light and joyful in nature reflecting a man truly comfortable in his own skin and the short time I spent with him rejuvenated my faith in humankind. I felt as though I’d made a new friend inside of two minutes.
We have corresponded since and I’ve also sent him a 13 x 19 print of that day as there is no way he could see what his image was like in these settings. Sometimes it takes almost the last possible moment to get the signature image. We left Martha’s Vineyard on Sunday.
PS. I heartily suggest you Google him, go to Thaw’s website and/or search on Ebay by his name as he has new images almost daily.