10 Most Meaningful Images of 2018: #3

Skyfire 01.18.18 ISO 50 - f18 - 4 sec

ISO 50 - f18 - 4 sec

The title of this blog series is 10 Most Meaningful Images of 2018 with the word “meaningful” being the most important. The fact of the matter is, I don’t love this image. As it turned out, I was out of position and basically made up this shot.

Plum Island is one of my favorite locations for photography. The 11 mile island off the coast of northeast Massachusetts is mostly composed of the Parker River Wildlife Refuge. The 4700 acre refuge protects a wide variety of habitats, including sandy beaches and dunes, bogs, maritime forests, and fresh and salt water marshes. There are hundreds of species of migratory birds, coyotes, and a scores of other animals. It’s a bird watchers paradise and a wonderful location for a landscape photographer.

Its rolling rolling dunes, wooden pathways, miles of beaches, and marsh pools provide loads of composition option. Early in my photography I once returned to the same path six times over several months to capture sunrise. What results were two of my favorite images (here and here) of all time which even provided 15 seconds of fame for me. Years from now, I may look at those images as the ones that changed my trajectory in photography - as perhaps the shots that showed me I could make great images.

But, this post is about an image I don’t particularly care for. It’s okay, but I wouldn’t suggest its one of my best. If anything, it makes me feel cold - mostly because I remember it was really cold that morning. So, why is this image one of my top 10 most meaningful? It’s because of something else I remember about that morning.

While I stood on this walkway facing east with a composition ready made to include a beautiful sunrise, these fingers of light were dancing behind me. For an unknown amount of time, I was facing the wrong way. While I was impatiently waiting for the sky to light up in the east, it was already doing so in the west and it wasn’t until I turned around that I realized I was missing the show. In an attempt to salvage a shot, I turned around, grabbed my tripod and composed a vertical shot using the path as a leading line. In truth, however, it really isn’t a compelling photograph.

But, for reminding me to keep my options open (and turn around every so often) Skyfire, captured on Plum Island in January, makes my top ten list of most meaningful shots of 2018.