Monday, February 23, 2009

What's the word?

I posted a shot on my Flickr account regarding how certain events can lead you down a path to an unexpected end.

Luck is not the best word. This image was not made by luck. I had to possess a certain level of skill to pull this off. My experience over the last few months shooting seascapes and long exposures had better prepared me for this day. I also have been shooting consistently several days a week, honing my skills. Time invested is key to personal growth. I always wanted to learn to play guitar, bass, mandolin, clarinet, but I just don't have the drive to dedicate the time. Instead, I have a collection of instruments gathering dust. Photography is my thing. I enjoy putting hours of time into it, everyday if possible. Likewise my growing abilities in the digital darkroom have further refined my ability to produce a final image for presentation.

I also needed the drive, that inner push, to capture images that I hope are relevant in one form of another. Whether it be the beauty and raw power of nature, or simply something pretty to look at, there has to be a reason for me to get up early in the morning to go photograph.

So it isn't luck.

Fate doesn't sound right either. I don't think some predetermined force lead me to this image. Certain things had to happen that easily could not have happened. More random chance than anything. I guess that depends on your beliefs, so if you want to call it fate, go right ahead.

But I don't think it's fate.

I'll summarize what happened. You see, my girlfriend unexpectedly had to leave town, and she usually lets the cats out early in the morning, something I tend to sleep through. And the first two days she was gone, I had gotten up earlier than the cats to shoot sunrises, and I am NOT a morning person. So day #3 rolls around, and the incoming rain was one day closer, so I planned on sleeping in on my day off. But no, the cats want out, and my girlfriend isn't there to bail me out. I finally cave, roll out of bed, and realize that the rains had stopped, but more were on their way. Then the inner drive kicks in to get out and photograph. "Better do it now..." I thought to myself "...before the rains come". And they did come just about an hour after getting this shot.

I headed to a spot I knew might offer a glimpse of any sunrise warmth in the sky, but instead was rewarded with high contrast, moving skies...perfect for a long exposure. My first choice for accessing the Capitola Pier was thwarted by the storm waves and high tide. This led me to another access point, one which dropped me right into this composition. It was all laid out in front of me, and set-up was a breeze. Perfect when you're working on little sleep and no coffee.

So, if my girlfriend had been home, I would have slept right through this shot. If the cats had decided to sleep in, same thing. If the rain were falling, no go. If the tide had been lower, I might have shot from a different vantage point. Who knows what would have happened.

So, what's the word? I think I'll call it serendipity.


  1. found you on Flickr... very nice work my friend. added you to my blogroll

  2. Great to follow your work on flickr. This one really nice. Have fun.