September 4, 2013 … a special seeing

Standby for a change of direction.

It was always my hope that this blog would have something to say. More specifically, I hoped that it would tell the story of my journey towards being a  better photographer. The unanswered question is, what is it that I want to be a better photographer of?

Most of my photography occurs within an hour or at most two of home, and looking back on the images I have offered about half have been birds. Make no mistake, I love birds and shall still offer a bird shot if I think I have caught something special, but my hope is, as it has always been, to see the specialness wherever I am, and to capture it.

The writer who best captures what I am trying to say is Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her poem “Aurora Leigh” and the verse that expresses it best is:

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries …”

In other words, the extraordinary is to be found in the midst of the ordinary if we look for it.

Images I caught yesterday  offered me some hope in that direction. It was late in the day and the weather was threatening, though there was still some remnant of the better weather in the evening sky. I found myself at the Mana marina near the rail bridge at Paremata.

Apparent calm in a cold wind

Un unlikely oasis of peace

Despite the patches of sunlight the wind had real bite, and I kept myself busy while I was waiting for my intended subject. I used a long exposure at the risk of the boats moving in the wind but I think I got away with it. The seeing that took place was in that lovely sky. When I first set up, all I saw was grey.

Porirua Harbour

The city’s shopping area is in the far distance

In the other direction, looking Southwards towards Porirua City, the sky was quite different but still worth the effort to catch it.

A distant crossing bell alerted me to the imminent arrival of my target. I wanted a train crossing the bridge over the inlet. Another long exposure creates an interesting effect, or at least I think so.

Commuter train at Paremata

I am not sure which way it is going

Now I can’t promise much tomorrow. I spent most of today trying to recover from a mishap which caused me to lose my Outlook mail archives and though I have backups, I have been unable to recover them. I am annoyed but it’s not the end of the world.

Just don’t expect much tomorrow.

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About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
This entry was posted in adversity, Landscapes, Light, Maritime, Porirua. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to September 4, 2013 … a special seeing

  1. Lydia says:

    I love the train. It appears (is it possible?) that I can see right THROUGH it at the lefthand end. The pattern on the cliffside seems to show through.

  2. Thanks Lydia. The train has windows on both sides, so it makes sense that we can see through at window level. Also, the shutter was open for several seconds and during some of that time the train had moved on. This would account for the transparency on the left.

  3. Toya says:

    I love the first shot, it is stunning, well done. The train shot is very creative and I really like the idea. I wonder what it would look like at night with the lights on in the train and the reflections in the water?

  4. Agree with Toya re the first shot

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