Sunset in Harbor Town

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Big Surf Daddy went home for a week for a much needed break.   He was mentally and emotionally spent from the daily decision making of trying-to-make-people-happy-so-they-will-come-back-to-see-him-again part of his life.

My alter ego started surfacing weeks ago as I watched my watch play tricks on my already-vacationing mind.   It seemed like my watch was moving fast during the nine to five, laughing at me while I was chasing the carrot and trying to stay on schedule so I wouldn’t have to make those with appointments wait more than usual (see above description).   At the same time my watch would then seem to drag to an infinitely slow pace as the days would progress from sunrises to sunsets,  a paradox that would baffle John Cameron Swayze.

There was also a small matter of marrying off my only daughter two weeks previous to this trip to the sea.    During this time I felt like I was part of an emotional lab experiment, going from beaker to beaker and tube to tube while some malcontented, discontented lab assistant interjected another stimuli to see what would happen to the poor sap.    Would this photo of his daughter in pig tails dissolve his current state of stability?    Would a tincture of remembrance of her twirling in her dress cause him to combust into a depressed bawling plume of purple smoke?    Would a smidgeon of recollection of him holding her in his arms and wiping away tears suddenly make him go to goo?

As it turned out, my daughter had a lovely wedding and married a man who will be a wonderful, loving husband.   She was very happy on her wedding day and that kept me from submerging myself in the punch bowl until I saw a bright light.

After the wedding, Big Surf Daddy took over.   There is no memory of the two weeks after the wedding and before the departure to the beach, only a vast chasm filled with ocean breezes that extended from ear to ear.

Big Surf Daddy is at home on the beach.   He and Mrs. Big Surf headed to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.   Big Surf knew this trip to the beach would be special, because it was the first time he and his lovely bride of twenty-eight years would be at the sandy shore alone since before they had children twenty-five years ago.

There was a slight miscalculation in the anticipation of setting records on the bliss-o-meter…

Having the kids at the beach evidently was a big part of the beach experience for Big Surf and his lovely mate.  Big Surf only waded out into the waves on one occasion, to do a seapee.  He still found some shark’s teeth and went for walks with his lovely missus.  He read a book and took some naps.  But it wasn’t the same.

I took this photo of the harbor in Harbor Town on Hilton Head Island at sunset. You can see the light  in the lighthouse.  I thought it made a compelling picture.

There was one benefit to not having the kids with us at the beach…HALF-PRICE SEAFOOD!!!!!!!!!!!

If you like this photo, you can see more of my pictures here.

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Cupola at Sunset

image_1As a photographer, what happens when your worlds collide?

I am talking about your photographer world and your loving husband world.  It’s the age-old  case, the classic moral dilemma, the situation ethic, the ego vs. super ego, good angel on the right shoulder and demon on the left.  What is a photographer to do when faced with this paradox that could end all of humanity (or at least his humanity)?

My wife and I were driving through  the University of Kentucky’s campus in Lexington, KY last evening.   There had been a storm that had just passed through and the sunset  that followed was beautiful and there was dramatic lighting all over town.   So in photographer world, there is a great need to park the car and start taking pictures of something… anything… in this lighting.

Unfortunately, we were road- weary from a long drive and wanting to get home.   We had to make a stop in Lexington to drop off some precious cargo and we had just started back on the road.  In the loving husband world, we were trying to get home to watch a) the recorded seven-hour US Open golf championship or b) the newest episode of “Madmen”.   Both were equally important  but not exactly in the same order for each occupant of this automobile.

Now I have had much experience in the past in dealing with these emotional- erupting,cosmic calamities.  I am usually able to avoid them by focusing my telescope on the beautiful heavenly body sitting in the passenger seat and gauging the path of her orbit.   It usually has to do with the level of gamma rays emanating from a face-melting stare that gives me a clue as to whether I should stop for that photo.

I am sure photographers have been faced with this unfortunate situation since the dawn of man, when Og would stop the family mammoth on their way to the in-laws for Thanksgiving and chisel out a beautiful sunset on the ol’  Kodak Kodastone.

One particular world-colliding event my wife and I survived had been on a trip to California.   We were driving on the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway on a sun-bathed day.   We were heading to San Francisco.  My loving radiant wife was a few months pregnant with our first child and had that other-worldly glow.   We came upon a Winnebago that was moving at the speed of my ability to determine changes in my wife’s mood.

With some deft driving skills I passed the mammoth-like vehicle on the curvy road…only to find a spot to pull off for a once-in-a-lifetime photo.   As I was putting my camera back in the bag, my heart sank as I saw that Winnebago drive slowly by.   My wife had a loving, eye-rolling smirk…so cute.

Again I found myself behind this slow moving behemoth and after drafting him for about ten miles at about ten miles per hour, I finally made a move reminiscent of James Bond on an Italian mountain road.   I waited until I knew I had put enough curvy black top between me and the Winnebago and pulled over for another once-in-a-lifetime photo.   Much to my surprise, the Winnebago went lumbering by.  My wife had lost the smirk… and the eye roll.   Now it was just eyes without the roll.

I swore to my wife I would make this good and maneuvered my powerful four-cylinder rental around this bliss-killing  sloth a third time.   When I pulled off to take another once-in-a-lifetime photo, I did not have to see my wife’s expression…I knew.   She said something about Shirley MacLaine not having as many once-in-a-lifetime photos.   Meanwhile there went the Winnebago….and there went my wife’s glow.

I took this shot yesterday of the cupola atop the Lexington Theological Seminary.   I only tweaked the contrast and exposure during editing.  The colors are natural.  My wife was supportive because she was already asleep.

This is not a once-in-a-lifetime shot.  I am not allowed to take anymore of those.

If you like this photo, you can see more here.