Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Morning Glory

published in the South Shore Breaker - June 15, 2016
In my mind, early mornings should involve lots of relaxation and coffee in bed. In reality, early mornings involve letting dogs outside, letting them back in, and feeding them. Feeding the cat, and cleaning the litter box. Making coffee and completing the sudoku in the morning paper. Sometimes early mornings involve jumping out of bed from a sound sleep to the sound of a dog barfing. Not exactly the relaxing moments of my dreams.

In a photographer
s life, early mornings are one of the best times for capturing images. The soft light brings life to subtle details, and often there is a gentle mist to help make dreamy landscapes and seascapes. The golden hour lasts about an hour after sunrise, but changes depending on where you live and the season.

But my theory is that the best time to take a photograph is when you actually have the time. My time with my camera doesn
t usually fall into the golden hour. I guess I could set my alarm clock and drag myself out of bed to look after the animals and get out of the house to a choice location before the golden hour hits. But lets face it, thats not me and its not my lifestyle. If you can’t get out during the golden hour, you can still capture beautiful moments at any time of day.

Some mornings, I do head out a little later than what falls under the golden hour definition. I put some coffee into a travel mug, grab my camera, and head out in my car.  The inspiration doesn
t hit often, but I try to take advantage of it when it does. A couple of weeks ago, I headed to my old stomping ground and to "the country". Living in such a beautiful coastal community leads to many spectacular water scenes, but there is beauty in the country too.

My first stop was along the road beside a farmer
s field. A lone apple tree standing in a field caught my eye. I was mostly enthralled with the striped patterns that the spring plowing had made, and I can never resist taking photos of standalone trees. A couple of ducks flying by added an extra touch that I was very happy to capture. Oddly enough, just two days after I took the photo I found out through the grapevine that the field is being prepared for a planting of haskaps, a thriving industry on the South Shore.
a farmer's field on Lower Branch Road - rumour has it that it has been prepped for haskap planting
A little farther down the road, I found a marshy area where the grasses are just beginning to grow. I missed the early morning mist and glow, but it was spectacular nonetheless. Part of the joy of photography is not just the picture in itself, but in the experience of capturing the moment.
marsh on Veinot Road in New Canada
My marsh photo will bring back memories of spring peepers, a blackbird at the top of a dead tree in the marsh trilling its lovely song, a squirrel jumping just barely over my head as I ducked under a tree to get closer to the marsh, and a goose somewhere in the background constantly honking. The flies werent too bad, and concerns in the back of my mind about ticks had me tucking my pants into my socks. I didnt say everything was a good memory, but its all part of the experience. I will remember the joy of finding two beaver dams on the pond, and the disappointment of not seeing a beaver at work. I will remember being dive bombed by the goose who decided I was getting too close for comfort, and then turning to see a mother duck and ten ducklings swimming to safety behind some reeds. Moments to treasure, and they will all be brought back to me when I look at the photograph I created.
detail of marsh grasses and reflections of the early morning clouds
Back in the car again, I headed to a back road that I had been down several years before. The road was in much rougher shape, and much longer than I remembered. Slowly, slowly, I inched along trying not to mistreat my car too badly. I had photographed a clear cut in this area several years ago, and I was interested to see how the land looked now. I discovered that nature is more forgiving than me, and the land was starting to heal. Further down the road, a new clear cut had begun. Theres a line from a song by Bruce Cockburn, "if a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?". My version runs, if a forest falls in a clear cut does anybody see? But this is a column about photography, not about politics and environmental concerns. My impromptu excursion ended on a melancholy note, but thankfully I got back to the paved road with my car none the worse for wear other than needing a wash job.

That
s my version of the morning golden hour photo shoot. Lets not forget the other golden hour at sunset, but thats a focus for another day. 
 

1 comment:

sybil said...

Sara, that first photo of the ploughed field is breathtaking. And those two ducks just set it off so beautifully.

You really do inspire me with your love of photography.

Look forward to our next outing.