Paul Matthews of Vestal, NY got last month’s image exactly right: “It looks like a September shot....water was back down a bit and we had a 3 week stretch where we hardly had a ripple...day or night. I’d never seen the river so…..relaxed." Spot on Paul. I took the opportunity to snap it just before we made the transition to shore and then on to France.
Every image has a story. The story behind this month’s began in 2001, when I was crafting my first book. Life Magazine used to print an interesting image on the last page of each issue. After the cover, it was usually the first page anyone looked at and I thought I’d try to do something similar.
I had been captivated by six Adirondack chairs on a neighbor’s dock, each very unusually (at the time) painted a different shade of pastel. But every picture I took was bland, even though their interesting mix of colors was anything but. Finally, at dawn on one of those still and sultry late summer mornings, a combination of haze, calm and a golden hour sunrise lighting them dramatically gave me what I’d been hoping for. The book came out in 2002 and caught on strongly, selling out very large printings that summer plus two more in 2003 and 2004.
Along the way, John Durand of Wellesley Island Building Supply began offering the books. When we first met, he shared with me that since the first book had been released, increasing numbers of customers had come to his store for these colors. Before long, pastel chairs began popping up all over the place, even far beyond the River, eventually offered in resin like these which so beautifully compliment Clayton’s waterfront.
Credit where it’s due. This all began when my neighbor Cliff Sifton suggested to his mom Heather that their dock area would look better with more color, flowers perhaps. She had a better idea. And the rest is (kind of) history. Please don’t be shy to share your thoughts if they prompt happy memories for you.
I’d like to remind you that Lyne and I have a cottage at the entrance to Jones Creek (part of the Thousand Islands National Park) which serves as our access point to the island. It’s available as a summer rental should you know of someone responsible looking for a beautiful spot on the River.
We’re also fortunate to have a small home in Provence, France, which is available for summer vacation rentals. For more information and extensive images of "What's Nearby" in the south of France, check out our site. Two extraordinary places to keep my camera happy. It's hard to get any luckier than that!
Best wishes for the New Year,