There is a simple secret to photography which I have frequently shared. “Just show up.” And it’s true, but at the same time it’s seldom as simple as that. Showing up usually requires dozens or even hundreds of outings before the magic mix of light, conditions and subject all come together.
I’m astounded when photographers are expected to capture the spirit of a place on brief assignments. With no control over weather or circumstance, they can only deliver what they are presented with. The key is time. The more you have, the more likely everything will eventually come together, but even then, a large area like the River requires it happening over and over because it’s impossible to be everywhere at once.
Lyne always gets angry with me when I say I’m not a professional photographer. Yes, I do make my living from it, but with no formal training I simply see myself as a guy with a camera. The plane didn't hurt, but even more important is living in the assignment with no deadline. Persistence pays too. I can keep showing up endlessly, awaiting circumstances which help nudge the bar higher over time.
While this month’s wallpaper didn’t require a plane, it perfectly illustrates the value of living in the assignment. Early one May morning I awoke to calm and fog with the sun trying to burn its way through. Luck also plays a part. While focusing on the golden silhouette of the goose, a seagull flew into the scene and I was lucky enough to click the shutter at just the right moment.
In this vein of capturing the spirit of the place, Brockville’s Aquatarium has a theatre which screens short films of the 1000 Islands. One of them explains how my photography of the islands began and how lucky I was to have all the pieces fall into place to allow it to evolve. You can watch it here:
And if you haven’t already visited Brockville’s Aquatarium, you are doing yourself a major disservice. It is entirely focused on the 1000 Islands with far more to offer than just films - live otters (and a couple of recently born babies), aquaria with many of the species of the River and much, much more. Next time you have time on your hands or guests to introduce to the area, you could hardly do better than treating them to a visit. It will explain the River to them far more eloquently than words and and save you a whole lot of effort.
As always, I’ll remind you that we have our winter home at the mouth of Jones Creek (part of the 1000 Islands National Park) available as a summer vacation rental on the River, as well as our exquisite little getaway in Provence, France. If you'd like to explore that area a bit (it's just as compelling as the River, but in a very different way), there are 25 new images on the "What's Nearby" page and more elsewhere.
This is the last wallpaper photo of the winter season. Hopefully, you’ll soon be taking your own.