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Juxtaposition

February 08, 2012

Earlier this week I listened to a June 13, 2011 podcast from Martin Bailey where he interviews David duChemin. I only recently discovered Martin’s podcast after reviewing his just released Craft & Vision book, Making The Print. Either I missed this interview earlier or maybe I just did not pick up enough from it in my first listen. One of the topics in the podcast is a discussion on juxtaposition and how we as photographers need to make a situation work for us in order to get the image we are seeking or visualizing. Sometimes the timing is not there on the first attempt or the lighting is not quite right. Whatever it is, revisiting the place where you imagined a certain image will often result in getting the image that you may have expected to make in the first place.

I captured this image from Borderland State Park in Easton, MA after a visit to this same location a day earlier. It still is not what I wanted, but I am getting closer. The day before I had my iPhone and a Canon Powershot with me during a hike when I discovered this “Deadwood in Granite” scene. Try as I might, I did not get an image that matched my expectations. After getting home and looking closer at the results in Lightroom, I decided a return visit was in order with my Canon 40D and also at a slightly different time of day. The result above is somewhat closer to my vision and not just because of the camera, but because I spent more time positioning myself to get a better angle. I also arrived at the the location about an hour earlier which allowed for more sunlight to light the scene and for me to just relax and put some thought into what I wanted. However, one thing was missing that I saw the first day and that was the moon.

With the podcast still lingering in the back of my mind I decided a third attempt was worthwhile and followed up with another visit to the same location a day later. However, with the clouds more prevalent this day, there was no way I would see the moon and I’d be lucky if any sunlight would be helping me out. I waited and captured the image below as the sun peaked through the clouds for about 30 seconds, allowing some hope. But no moon to be seen.

While I did not get the shot I was looking for, I did experience first hand how patience and a little luck can work together to get your vision closer to becoming reality. It also showed that the gear I had with me played no role in determining the image I wanted to create. A return visit to that spot is in the cards and with a little more patience and planning, I’m sure things will work out.