Create your zone …

Yesterday I had an impromptu photo adventure. I was driving Mom back to my house after taking her with me to run post-Christmas errands and to get little things done at her house because she continued to stay with us after her recent hospital experience.

It rained all morning but dried out by afternoon. The sky was still gray when suddenly, it cracked open and the sun checked in to see how we were doing. Stopped at an intersection in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey we were both looking toward the sky. I turned to Mama and said, “Do you wanna see something beautiful?” I got a look of disbelief from her and thought, that’s not very adventurous.

I was hoping that the sun would shine on all areas along the Maurice River where I live and wanted to take her to the East Point Lighthouse and get some interesting weather shots or, just enjoy the view.  You never know what you will see over the water on days like this. She was tired and wanted to go home but humored me anyway. I decided that I would make it brief, like I always do, knowing that I had to get her home and put things away and make dinner for everyone. *sigh*


Unfortunately, I did not have my camera bag but I did have my smartphone which takes some damned good shots. I just wanted the break in my day anyway. I was not planning on getting anything grand and honestly was grateful to get out of errand mode and back into enjoying nature. I love moody weather, especially overcast and angry sky days. I think that it is because I can capture emotional pictures and those days lend themselves to introspection and thoughtfulness. I want to pull viewers into the scene, into nature and wonder. I guess because that is what I love to do and feel that that is what nature is calling us to do, go outside to go within.

When we got there, I realized that the sun would not be cracking open the sky in this area which was just a little further south from where we first saw the sun decide to shine through. It remained gray in this spot and at a distance, I could see the sun was still checking in closer to my home. I decided to stay and pulled out my phone anyway to try getting some panorama and shoreline shots. I liked the contrasting color that I found close to the beach where they filled in the parking area.

As I was facing the water, someone pulled up in a car, behind me. A man got out and asked what I was shooting and that he liked to check in with others and see what scenes inspired them. Although my initial reaction to any strange man who tries to start talking to me when I am alone is always one of cool politeness, the question, and his interest, interested me. Here is a kindred spirit and he was pulling his tripod and camera and gear bag out of his car. I wondered what he was after too.

Then I noticed that classical music was drifting from his vehicle, toward me. With that thick, overcast, moody gray day standing along the shoreline, I will swear that that music was physically wrapping itself around me. It felt wonderful. This guy had a cool setup!


Then I thought, but why doesn’t he just wear earbuds? I quickly concluded that it’s just not the same. It wouldn’t be. That music released in nature and that mood of the weather paired so well together. He didn’t stay long and never got off a shot. I assume that he was expecting to have the beach area to himself and I was probably messing up his shot or putting footprints in his sand and he just left. I felt bad that I interfered with his plan but I am sure that he knew of other spots. He was a man with a plan to enjoy himself. But, for me to see him arrive there alone with all of his gear and his favorite music, setting a stage for himself, I thought why am I not doing this for me. It is delightful!

In the past, I have brought my gear bag to locations to shoot but it is usually a quick 15 minutes that I can squeeze in between something else that I need to get done and I never break out the many tripods in my collection. I always love those brief trips, no matter how short I feel totally recharged and get great work done. So, why do I not give myself the kind of time this guy was enjoying? It would be heaven!

Shame on me! I promise that kind of solitude and self-expression but still get tricked into believing that that day will come, soon, be patient. But it doesn’t because I never allow myself to experience it.

Something is about to change!


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