Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Eye (and the Ears and the Nose) of the Beholder...On Location in Cruz Bay

The ferry terminal at Cruz Bay
As I sat by Cruz Bay at a little outdoor cafe basking in the late afternoon light, I made what has to be the most touristy of tourist photographs...the ferry terminal.  The raking light was lovely with the dark clouds behind but it is definitely a "post card".

   Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with "postcards".  These sorts of images draw us into a location.  They are the general view of a place or what I sometimes refer to as "big picture" views.  They are our first encounter with the landscape.

   What is important is that I wasn't content with the big picture...I got up off my duff (after I'd finished my pina colada of course!) and wandered over to the dock.  I first saw my letter "P" (I'm nearly done with the alphabet!) but then I just sat on the edge of the dock and let the breezes and soft light wash over me.  Closing my eyes, I relied on my hearing and smell to replace my vision. 

Seaside Simplicity
   Eyes are the King of the senses.  And like most kings, they can be a bit dictatorial, always wanting their own way.  We can become slaves to them.  After all, we experience the world with our eye firmly affixed to our camera's viewfinder.  Shutting your eyes on occasion is a helpful thing for the contemplative photographer to do.  Let your other senses have a chance!  When I finally opened them, my eyes were drawn down to what laid right below my feet...

   The late day light cast a pink glow over the water's edge as the soft waves kissed the shore and, like a shy lover, immediately retreated.  It was the sound of the waves and their salty smell that drew me to this view.  Walking on the dock before, I hadn't heard them at all.  My eyes were fully occupied with it all.

   Embrace the "big view" by all means but close your eyes and see what intimate views your other senses draw you to.  This is a way to slowly walk into the landscape, to become more engaged with the location.  You will gather an enriched and more personal sense of place this way.


Mystic Meandering said...

Patricia, I see a shadow silhouette profile of a woman in that second picture on the beach, the waves making her hair - starting with that white wisp at the top! OMG - magical!

Patricia Turner said...

Talk about a coincidence...I just looked at the picture and for the first time saw the woman's profile just before I got your comment! I love it!