I’ve mentioned Virginia’s Eastern Shore quite a few times in this blog. The Eastern Shore extends between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The Bay itself is one of the most important water resources in the world, and one of the most environmentally threatened. We had the pleasure of spending the last week at St. Michael’s, just across the Bay from the Baltimore and DC areas, with the great photographic innovator and teacher, Tony Sweet. Tony, as I said, is relentlessly innovative in his pursuit of new ways of creating art, of using the tools at our disposal to express something of our personal vision. Interestingly though, we got to talking about the great Baltimore based photographer of the 40’s and 50’s, A. Aubrey Bodine, whose images though apparently quite “classical” nevertheless also reflected an intense dedication to innovation. This first image is inspired by my fondness for his work. Bodine loved capturing the activities along the harbors and ports of the Bay. Taken just after sunrise at St. Michael’s (Maryland) harbor.
This next image though is much more contemporary. We had an on-going conversation with a Blue Heron at Tilghman Island, just west of St. Michael’s the following morning. This guy was without a doubt, working us just as much as we were working him. The fishermen seemed to be in on the deal too, and I think they were the ones who were prompting him, with fish of course, to hang around so that they wouldn’t be bothered. The photographic problem here is a very dull sky, literally white with clouds, no detail at all, behind an otherwise potentially interesting scene. Texture overlays to the rescue. (That involves layering a thin texture over an image in Photoshop, hopefully not over doing it, to provide, some texture of course.)
The purpose of the tools, in my view, is to help us tell the real story, a story not always captured by the camera, in the moment. The job of photography in part is to communicate what it was really like to be there, the feel of the moment, not just what the sensor was able to capture. One guy’s opinion of course.