Adventures in Photography: Just Like Heaven
Photography is expression. Expression of emotion. Photography is communication on a level that is not defined or tarnished by words. It is a primal expression of the essence of the subject.
This image was made during the first sunrise that I had seen in Acadia National Park for nearly two years. Acadia is a place that calls and beckons to me. I have returned to its welcoming shores many times. Always with great excitement!
This day break was no different. Waking at 3:45AM, I made my way to the renowned Otter Cliffs to enjoy the earliest sunrise in the United States. My anticipation grew steadily as I noticed light clouds and fog on the horizon. Clouds and fog often make for the most fantastic sunrises.
As I travelled along Ocean Drive, I opened my windows to savor the fragrance of the pines and the sea. My anticipation was almost palpable.
Listening to the waves roll against the shore and hearing the small boulders churning with a deep rumble thrilled me. I made my way to the water’s edge. Quickly I set my camera and then I waited for nature’s show.
As the sky lightened, the clouds turned a multitude of hues announcing the impending arrival of the sun. Looking to the east, I eagerly created an image as the sun broke the horizon. I made a twenty second exposure to create an ethereal fog effect with the ocean waves. This represented the timelessness of the beautiful scene before me. Selecting f16, the sun’s rays were diffracted into a beautiful starburst.
Witnessing the scene before me, I felt at peace. There was vibrancy to the land and sea. I was at ease with my surroundings and in harmony with the earth and sky. Appreciating the moment and conveying these emotions in a photograph was my goal.
Later, while I was processing this image, I showed it to my wife Brenda. With a sharp intake of breath, she exclaimed “It’s just like Heaven!” At that point, I knew that I had succeeded. Brenda was able to see and understand much of what I had felt that morning. While I did not specifically try to convey my interpretation of Heaven, I was trying to share emotions and ideas that many associate with Heaven. Timelessness and peacefulness were on my mind and I am often moved to pray and offer thanks when I witness the beauty of nature. These feelings were made obvious in the resulting image.
This Month’s Tip: Photography can be so much more than simply making a pretty picture. Try to get in harmony with your inner most feelings. Then find a way to tell your story. Your images will improve and your experience will be enriched. At its best, photography is about communicating your innermost spirit.
Greg Lessard will be leading a three day photography tour to Acadia National Park. You can learn more about this trip by visiting his blog at: http://blog.greglessardphotography.com/2014/05/fall-photo-tour-in-acadia-national-park.html