The Dock

I’ve been taking this photo for years. In 2009 when I started filtering through the 10,000+ photos I’d taken up to then, I literally found this same composition repeated multiple times, going back to around 2002 or so. It makes sense, too, since this is such a beautiful scene and the overhanging branches frame the walkway out to the dock perfectly. When I finally got a real camera at the end of last summer this was one of the shots I was most eager to get a “definitive” version of, meaning a picture that’s properly exposed and taken from a decent camera on a tripod. The HDR aspect of this pic really comes through in what would normally be the dark areas of a typical photograph – in this case, all of the green detail in the foliage and texture under the shadow on the deck would ordinarily be dark gray or completely black. Shooting this photo made me realize that the concept of a definitive photograph, at least from a subjective personal standpoint, is illusory. My point-and-shoot snapshots from years past reflect how I perceived the scene at the time; likewise, this is a reflection of the scene after I’ve gazed at it for so long that I feel compelled to spend hours meticulously reproducing its image.

Note: This photo is one of many I’ve taken on Figure 8 Island in Wilmington, NC, although until recently I hadn’t tagged any of the photos as such. For the rest of them, you can click here. There should be more to come later this year.

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