I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time at this incredible place over the past 14 years, but I’ve only seen a sunset like this happen two or three times. You’ll be gazing out at the sun going over the horizon, and then you turn around and suddenly realize the last light of the day is illuminating massive clouds right over the roof of the house. It’s rare, but this time I was ready for it.
All of life is ephemeral, but by photographing these moments we capture them and make them ours. I may never see this scene again, but I’ve made a photo of it, and now it can be preserved and shared with the rest of the world. Scott Bourne at Photofocus recently wrote a great post on the subject, and it’s definitely worth a read.
If Starbucks is already hawking their gingerbread and eggnog lattes and CVS is sporting candy cane decorations behind their checkout counter, it’s certainly not too early to post a Christmas photo, right? The truth is, I’ve come around to the viewpoint that we should start celebrating Christmas (or whatever holiday near the winter solstice is relevant to those of your religious persuasion) as early as possible. I think people like to rush into the holiday spirit because it insulates them from the grim onset of winter. That and it sells more lattes. In any case, we should enjoy it, because after the holiday charm expires on New Year’s Day, we’ve still got a few more cold, dark months before we see trees this green again.
In 1960, a boat carrying 7 year old Roger Woodward and two other people capsized above Niagara Falls. His young sister was pulled to shore before she reached the edge. The adult who had been piloting the boat went over the falls and was killed. Roger plummeted over the side before he could be reached, but miraculously survived. I have no idea how this is possible, but it happened again in 2003 when a man threw himself into the river and emerged on the other side with only minor injuries. The 600,000 gallons of water that tumble over the edge every second has proved sufficient to pulverize the solid rock at the bottom; you’d think it would make short work of flesh and bone. The sheer relentless power of the falls is incredible to behold, and watching it is both mesmerizing and terrifying.
I don’t think I’ve set foot in this yacht club in over a decade, but I walk along the docks to check out the boats all the time. It’s a pretty big space and there’s always dozens of watercraft of all sizes, from small jet boats to the large yachts you see here. Walking past these ships I imagine being out to sea off some distant shore, up on the flying bridge with binoculars, scanning the horizon. I’m sure the freedom and adventure of having one of these things is tempered by the reality of their considerable upkeep and maintenance, but that’s seldom part of the reverie as you walk past them during a beautiful sunset.
When I was in Buffalo this summer, I went on a long photo walk the day of the wedding while the girls got their hair done and posed for photos with the bride. My first stop was that famous Canadian purveyor of coffee and donuts, Tim Hortons. I sat down near a window with my OJ and pastries and started reviewing some photos I’d taken earlier, when this perky little boy walked by with his mom. As soon as she sat down on a bench and looked away, he ran over to the window, pressed his face up against the glass to look inside, saw me, and started mugging for the camera. I snapped a few pics and then finished the rest of my high-calorie breakfast. Maybe the little dude was just craving some donuts like I was?
Note: Unlike the other pics on this site, this photo is not under a Creative Commons license and cannot be used without permission.