I took Kat Sloma's "journey" courses to help me find my eye. They really helped. You could totally take your own journey and find your eye like I did-just check in with her site.
I did find my eye; in fact I have two eyes-about a third the way down my face. Imagine that.
I think this is the kind of comment that normally brings the response "Susan; nobody likes a smart ass".
I think when people say that, it means they really do though. Or I could just be in denial.
And now I've drawn poor Kat into my ridiculous train of thought. Sorry Kat. But I mention her (with sincere respect) due to a lesson from "the journey" that I've come back to a number of times:
Choose an image-one that jumps off the page at you and start writing.
You can go now if you want....I'll take no offense.
I shoot a lot of lobster boat photos. Honestly, I'm not all that enamored of them, but get close to the ocean-in most any harbor here in Maine, and they're there. Many are there year 'round too, while the sailboats, tourist "whale watching" or "puffin spotter" party boats, and mammoth yachts are hauled, covered, or tucked away 'til warm months arrive.
Surrounded by rippling waters, sun covered, with reflections, or a touch of that rustic-shabby paint or with scrungy lines-they rather ask to be "taken". I think there's a sense of quaintness, romance perhaps, in seeing that familiar shape moored.
But they're not quaint at all. They stink....as in smell-badly. They're dirty...like grungy. They're soiled and smeared with fish guts, slops of dried seaweed, oil drippings, salt water stains, scrapes and gouges, and with ratty rusting traps and lines piled at stern. Quite frankly, they're yucky when you get up close.
In summer the docks are full of the high paying pleasure boats. The lobstermen row out in little dinghies to their moored boats. Off-season the marinas pick up extra money having the working boats tie up. I suppose it is harsh on the lobstermen to row in winter-with icy, crusted hands wrapped painfully around the oars. Avoiding that is a win-win.
When I was mucking around the docks last week, I was able to get right up to this boat. I was taking pretty reflection shots of boats and buildings, but this shot of the inside of the boat was a "have to" shot. A reminder that a lobsterman's life is not at all romantic-it is physically hard work, in conditions that send me to the couch with hot coffee and that snuggie my father gave me for Christmas. (I had to use it....it was a gift.)
The orange pants caught me, shining in the sun. Overalls really. Lined lightly with sweatshirt material inside and rubbery on the exterior-to repel water. It's the practical "uniform" of the trade. Later when I came home and really looked at the photo-other things struck me....the hammer poking from a tool box, the simplicity of the helm, the stained salt caked windows, the rescue ring-as if when one's leg gets wrapped in a line attached to a heavy trap headed into 40 ft of cold water that it would help. Lobster boats are sometimes found with no captain going round and round in circles-a sign no one wants to see. A sign of the worst.
I don't look at this post and think "down" thoughts. These thoughts are not meant to be "Debbie Downers"....I guess I was just reminding myself of the reality; what I see when shooting a quaint shot like the one at the top. I know the story behind it. One that may be overlooked by others. My uncle was a lobsterman for many of my childhood years. I saw the hard work and meager paychecks. I didn't see the romance or quaintness.
So did I find my eye in that lobster boat? Nah. Maybe just a touch of me and my roots. But I don't have any of those orange pants. Remember? Snuggie. Today however, is sunny and warm....today the life of a lobsterman would be pretty wonderful-out on the water, in the sun. Two sides to every story, but I'm sure the boat still smells badly.
If you've made it to the end of these thoughts. Thanks. Always nice to be heard, no matter where my mind is traveling off too. Hope you have a fabulous day.