Stillness and Reflection
In doing a bit of image editing from this past October (it seems I’m forever catching up on reviewing photos), I discovered a couple of examples of my ongoing fascination with sunrise and reflection. The images are both taken from the parking lot we used to call ‘Ryan’s’ on different mornings during the same week.
Every morning, it is a new world in Wickford harbor. Variations in the light, color cloud cover and water surface are different. The fog brings intrigue, and each year, the boats along the pilings change. My favorites are the still mornings, when the morning clouds reflect on the surface of the harbor.
This fascination with stillness and reflection started with Channel Fog and Channel Sunrise, shot with a Mamiya 6, on Fuji Provia 120 slide film, back in the day. The symmetry creates the a pattern of perfectly repeating shapes, the tone and color of the sky tinting the water. On cool fall and warm spring dawns, mist rises on the surface; the low angle of the sun highlights the mist and create wonderful atmospheric color.
I have taken this approach to image making into the rest of New England and in my world travels. ‘Mirrored Sunrise, Eastport , ME’, and ‘Silence is Golden, Queeche VT’, are two examples. Dramatic light at sunrise can be a precursor for deteriorating conditions throughout the day, as the cloud cover is the leading edge of a weather front. I never know what I am going to find setting out, but am rarely disappointed. Morning fog may initially obscure the sun, but then can burn off to a delightful sunny day.
There are similar light events at the time of sunset and the magic light that precedes it. One of my all-time favorites, ‘Reflections of New Harbor, Block Island’, was taken at the end of a stormy day, as the cloud cover separated from the western horizon, the sun acting like a warm spotlight on the eastern departing storm. The time right after sunset also has it’s own magic. The stillness and cloud cover of ‘Raw Bar Reflection, Cuttyhunk’ required the steadying support of a dock piling, to create the deep depth of field and low ISO.
I feel an inner peace, serenity and sense of awe witnessing this natural calm. There is a magical connection going out before and after the light of day, with a camera, tripod and steaming mug of coffee. I feel I am an explorer, connecting to the glory of the light and reflection before me, knowing this particular show of beauty is there for the moment, never to be duplicated.