In the world-wind race of life that so many of us find ourselves in it is not often that we stop to look around, to enjoy the beauty of the world surrounding us. For a good portion of my life when time and schedule allowed I enjoyed, and still do on occasion, the pleasure of photography. Photography gives you cause to stop and look, to appreciate the detail of your surroundings, whether minute or grandiose. It has been the tool for capturing history and events-in-time around the world and beyond. Similar to a painter a photographer appreciates and understands the nuances of light, texture and detail, composition and order. And to be honest, it involves a degree of luck in the outcome of the final piece. Photography has transitioned from the old days…..i.e. my time…of film and chemical solutions to the high tech world of digital reproduction and enhancement. Yet it remains an art form that captures the world at its best and worst, in an instant.
Photography provided me the opportunity for a brief foray into the art world of Laguna Beach, the summer art shows and the renowned Festival of the Arts. It also brought me together with good friends and a fellow photographer, which in time lead to the introduction to my wife. So as you can imagine, photography has brought me great joy.
This morning I have decided to include a handful of photographs taken over the years, dating back fifteen to thirty years and beyond. I will do this occasionally throughout the course of my articles. Each photograph brings me back to the moment, time and place, the conditions and surroundings. I hope you enjoy them as they are a small part of the memories of my life.
“Morning Light” – Moro Bay, California (1994)
“Morning Light” – The air was crisp and fresh, the morning light new as I gazed out upon this tranquil bay. Silence was everywhere. Stillness enveloped the water transforming it into a mirror, smooth and clear. The boats sat motionless, beautiful in their weathered charm. The day had not fully awakened yet and I thought I was alone to listen to the quiet, to watch the stillness, to greet the new day, but I was not. A long-necked bird of graceful beauty, a resident of this coastal place, stood at the end of the weathered dock, its shadow cast upon the white hull of the still boat. We looked at one another for quite some time. We too were still and understood we were both here to enjoy the freshness of a new day and the morning light. I left first.
“Grazing at Daybreak” – Country Roadside, Kanas (1978)
“Grazing at Daybreak” – I awoke at daybreak on a cold winter morning somewhere in the countryside of Kansas. I had been staying off the highways traveling the rural roads for a couple of days and had slept in the back of my truck the past night, wrapped in an old sleeping bag under the white camper cap stuck over the truck bed. I was on a budget. Upon waking I stiffly climbed out of my portable hotel room, shivering in the cold winter morning air, and was greeted with this quiet scene. The countryside was peaceful, not yet awake, and I enjoyed the company of these horses for a few. It was cold and I needed a cup of coffee so I didn’t linger as long as I wanted to. I have certain priorities first thing in the morning.
“Three Boats Waiting” – Rockport, Massachusetts (1979)
“Three Boats Waiting” – Old wooden lobster pots sat upon the weathered and aged rocks of the fishing harbor in this quaint New England village. Below, three boats waited to carry fisherman out to their rugged vessels anchored in the small protected harbor beyond. The sky was dark with a pending storm, the air tense in anticipation. It was a century’s old town, an old place of the good, honest, hard work of the sea. In time the fishermen came from their warm homes, climbed down the old wooden ladder and headed out to their waiting vessels. There was work to be done at sea.
“Country Charm” – Barnstable, Massachusetts (1994)
“Country Charm” – A gray misty autumn afternoon found me driving along the narrow winding roads of Cape Cod. As I wandered from beach to harbor, village center to bay, around a bend in the road I came upon a wonderful old house set upon a gentle hill nestled under the arching branches of a grand old tree. Green ivy covering stone walls and terracing down the slope with the house intimately engulfed the walls of its friend to become one. Upon the long-ago painted wooden door a country bonnet had been placed to welcome and offer a visual greeting to all who might pass by. The bonnet had enjoyed a Cape Cod summer, seen by many as they traveled this road towards boats and beaches, and now was part of the autumn season as leaves began to turn from green to a rich red burgundy. With some thoughtfulness by the land’s owner, and with natures embrace it was…..charming.
“Harbor Lights” – Dana Point, California (1996)
“Harbor Lights” – The harbor laid still in a quiet calm as the darkness of a warm spring night enveloped all. The dark sea beyond hugged the shoreline and wrapped the harbor snugly. Boats and yachts rocked gently at dockside and peacefulness prevailed. It was late, very late, and the air was still, the harbor like a black mirror. The harbor’s lights glowed softly around the water’s edge and the distant hills glittered as if lit by a thousand candles. Like the village around it the harbor rested too, soon to awaken with the first light of dawn and the music of a multitude of seagulls following the fishing fleet to sea. I sat here and listened to the sounds of silence, my eyes enchanted with the serenity below. I would find this place again and share it with a friend, a quiet friend.
G’Day friends, see you next Friday morning.