Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Dreamy Paradise

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
Jack London

Always, I am on Biscayne Bay as early as possible. In the summer, that is typically before 6:30 am and I am normally off the water no later than 10:30 am. Over the years, this routine has provided me so much in the way of creative growth, but with primary emphasis on the birds. However, lately I have wanted to expand, not so much that birds have become boring, but simply because there is so much more out there waiting to be discovered in a creative sense.

Recently, I've experienced a rut. This all came to a head when two mornings in a row, the alarm that went off at 4 am failed to motivate me out of bed. All my canoe and camera gear were ready to go, but I just did not feel up to the trouble of getting the canoe on the water. Instead, I hung around the house drinking coffee, reading and enjoying the overcast sky leftover from the storms that passed through the night. But then something weird happened around 10 am on the second morning. Something clicked and I decided to head out to the bay. Maybe it was from reading the photographer David duChemin who wrote:

"Saying yes to chance happenings and seeing where they lead opens you to ideas and possibilities larger than yourself."

The sky was overcast completely and didn't look like it would change any time soon. What could possibly be photographed in these conditions? I was on the water before 11 am. I loved how the clouds played in the sky and the calm water. And it was amazingly beautiful. First thing I did was find a nice mangrove to work with and proceeded to set up the tripod. I decided that I could attach several filters and get the shutter speed somewhere between 1-2 sec. This would be enough to give the water a dreamy quality. I attempted lots of images, vertical and horizontal and was happy with one of them. With two shots, one metered and focused on the sky and one metered and focused on the tree, I created this image after blending the two.

That's all it took to get me excited about possibilities, despite the challenging lighting. Here's another image inspired by the clouds.

As the day wore on, the tide went out and the shoreline became a messy field of seagrass. This looked interesting to me. With the circular polarizer filter, I handheld the camera and shot several images. I attempted some abstract compositions with the natural colors of the grass and the shapes formed by the reflections from the sky.

At 2 pm, I got off the water, and the only reason I did is because of the impending storms coming in from the west. Finally, my creative juices began flowing again and I was stoked to have discovered another way to experience Biscayne Bay. A fresh photographic study of Biscayne Bay has begun.

"Creativity is the ability to see things in a new way, a way that combines existing things, viewpoints, elements, in a way that hasn't been done, or in a way that uniquely solves a problem. It is, in short, the power of "What if...?" David duChemin

Oh, and one last thing, I checked out a tree house that has been under construction for some time (I find them often on the bay). People have put a lot of work into this one. I don't think it is accessed from land and I have seen paddler boarders in there. How they get away with it is a mystery. If I could go in there and destroy it and haul all the material and trash out of there, I would. The bay has enough trouble as it is.

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