Departure Bay – Lights. Camera. Memories Enter Stage Right.

February 05, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

As I write this, I am sitting on the deck of BC Ferry's 'Coastal Inspiration' doing my favorite thing... watching & listening. Watching the light change the very simple landscape of the ocean as it filters though the clouds. Watching others do the same thing. Watching seagulls circle the deck waiting for people who know how to play the 'cracker' game. I am traveling alone, which can get lonely, but it does provide ample time to peruse the stories that occupy the dusty open pages scattered across the cluttered tables of my memory.

We are sailing toward a point that I have never been to... but it occupies a place on one of those pages. I became aware of this place because of a favorite song written and sung by one of my favorite artists. Departure Bay is a song written by Dianna Krall as she explored the memories brought forward by the passing of her mother. I have always wanted to go to Departure Bay and I will be there in about 60 minutes.

I have a camera hanging off my shoulder. It is an amazing tool I can use to create, capture and, hopefully, eventually share memories. Share with others or at least share with a future and older me. I have an extraordinarily bad memory but as I look back at the terabytes of images I have captured over the years, I can remember taking every one of them. Each one is attached to a network of stored memories. On a technical level, most of them are really poor, some of them are pretty good and a few of them have captured something well enough to allow others to enjoy it. The interesting thing is that if I were to create a pile of my favorite images and another one of my most 'successful' images, only a few would be found in both piles.

The scene before me is as simple as it gets. It is completely unassuming and yet as powerful as anything I have witnessed. The calm water stretches forward until it merges with the clouds or fog hanging just above it. The sun becomes a muted spotlight as its rays fight their way through to the waters surface. The light dances. The scene is never the same. It is nothing and yet it can be anything. The world is gone and before me is a perfectly lit stage. The sea air sweeps away all the clutter and I can let past memories and future thoughts play out before me. Of the very few people who have ventured out onto the top deck, most are silent and ALL seem happy. It is a good place. I could get lost in the simplicity of this place for a very long time. I have 60 minutes.

I like to listen to people as they view a picture I have on display. It is on display because I like it. For whatever reason, the image has made a stronger connection with me than the other thousand I took. It is usually tied to a memory and tells me a story every time I look at it. If it is good enough to hold someones attention they often will talk about the memories and stories it tells them. They are almost never the same as mine but that is a good thing. A scene like the one I am trying to capture at this moment is one that has no set story or any real direction to send a viewer. It just calms the mind and allows whatever memory, story or emotion that is waiting to surface.

I hope one or all of these images stirs a memory or tells a story that will make your day better.

Note: I like to explore and practice new techniques and skills so that when something takes my breath away and makes me say, "Wow!" I might be able to capture it in a way that will let me say, "Wow" over and over. Hopefully along the way I can share what I learn with others and better allow them to capture those 'Wow' moments as well.

Another Note: I had plenty of time to play while taking these photos and found that even though the day was 'grey', shooting into the sun made the dynamic light range was very big. I had the most success by underexposing a full 2 stops in camera and pulling what I wanted to out of the shadows in post production.


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