More than anything this image is a study in reductionism. The challenge is include increasingly large objects in an image while maintaining a balance. My idea was to include objects that vary in size from very small to very large. The foreground sand is small but appears large. The low waves are larger yet appear smaller than the foreground. The ocean is much larger and of course the sun is unimaginably large, yet they recede even more. Each element plays a complementary role.
This is a simple image that I almost didn't post. I was at the beach as the sun went down and I placed the camera just above the sand. I am laughing at myself because I think this is no different than if I had been playing in the water as a child. Only now I'm grown up and my toy is a camera.
My initial idea was to capture the foam of the wash along with the setting sun. But as the idea took hold I took about two hundred of these as I experimented with different angles. Trying to pick my favorite was a chore but I managed to narrow it down.
Producing this image was indeed fun. Part of the fun was getting low with the camera while the waves lapped at my feet. The other was going through the process of sorting the images, studying the differences and choosing one.
In the end I learned something, and at the very least I hope you enjoyed my description of it.
This is from Robinson Preserve in Bradenton. The reflection of the lookout tower caught my attention as I rode a bike along a trail. Normally the water is not this still during the day but there was no breeze on this warm winter day in February.
These towers appear in most Florida nature preserves and state parks. I realize now it's because the land is flat and a tower is the only way to see over the ground cover. I'd never seen these where I grew up in California because they have mountains and all you have to do is climb a hill.
As well, there are fire lookout towers across the state amongst the farms and ranches. The geography breeds an abundance of lightning which in turn creates brush fires each year. When I first arrived in Florida they made an impression on me and now I know why there are so many; flat land.
There are three towers that I know of nearby my home, this being one. I've taken pictures atop all three. They are for me the next best thing to having a drone for photography. One of these days I may get a drone so I don't need a tower. Until that day I'll look for nearby towers or bridges when I want to see the Florida landscape.
When it comes to taking photos, this is my favorite section of Sarasota. On the left is the fishing pier, which I'm standing on and on the right is the Ringling Bridge that leads to the center of town. I take so many pictures from here that I'm at risk of running out of views. Not this time because it's a perspective I haven't yet captured. It reminds me of the saying about Rome, only in this case all roads lead to Sarasota. That could be a metaphor for something else.
It's silly but I have an ongoing fear that I'll run out of things to take pictures of. Nothing could be further from reality because the possibilities are infinite. Yet each time I go out I feel that fear. Maybe it's just part of the process, a propellant for creativity. I compartmentalize it so it doesn't take control of me but it's always there. I can acknowledge it without letting it change my agenda. It's a reminder that art and creativity are tangible and as such there is resistance to succeeding.
I think about these things a lot. That's because I take the time to write about my images. That in turn causes me to explore my thoughts, motivations and ideas around images. Any time you do that it invariably leads to these questions; what is art, where does it come from, where does it lead? And in the end the answer is always the same, all roads lead to self discovery.
So perhaps the new perspective that I found for this area can be an allegory for self awareness. That's my two cents on the matter.