Moving and Mansion Beach

We had just moved back into the house, after the summer rental.  It's a change for us and it's not just because of the move.  The whole island changes.  The number of visitors reduces by about half, and will keep reducing, week by week, until after Columbus Day weekend, when most things will close down.   And the weather is changing.  The mornings are cooler, even on hot days, and after a drought that lasted most of the summer, we've started to get little smatterings of rain. 

After living on a boat, where everything is just a few steps from everything thing else, the house seems to call for a lot of walking.  I can make a whole meal on the boat without ever taking a step.  The sink is right there and to chop things up, I just put a cutting board over it.  Then to use the stove, I only have to turn to the side.  The food is stored all around me.  It seems exactly right.  In the house, the sink is in one place and the stove is in another with a place to walk in between.  It's not a big kitchen, but until my sense of living space adjusts, it will feel like a little commute.

On the other hand, when I live on a boat on a mooring, my normal pattern of living means I'm spending a lot of time in nature.  In a house, I can do most things without going outside.  So I get this feeling every year, that my life is more convenient, but suddenly more confined.  Unless I make a decision to get out there.  Which of course, I do.

I'd been thinking about some friends who normally come to the island and couldn't make it this year.  I was missing them and I thought it would be nice to go to Mansion Beach, which is one of their favorite places.   So I went out one cool evening, the first of September, and I got the image above after sunset, by using my tripod and taking a long exposure.

Four days later, Hurricane Hermine was hanging off the coast.  The beaches were suddenly empty.  I decided to go back to Mansion Beach and take another picture, to show that two pictures taken from the same spot can be very different from each other.  I've always tried to make photographs that were "true", by that I mean, unaltered, as close as possible to the feeling and also the "reality" that was out there.  But I've been realizing lately how much a photographer affects a picture.  I choose what to take and on top of that, I also choose how to take it.  Different lenses and changes in length of exposure and aperture make a big difference.  So this another picture of the point just north of Mansion.  I used a telephoto instead of a wide angle lens and a short exposure instead of a long one.  Also, because the second picture was more about pattern than about color, I desaturated it a little, made it half way to black and white.

This next photograph was taken, also from Mansion Beach, but looking south toward town.  I stood in the water to get this picture.  Well actually, the way it happened is I was so busy taking pictures that I didn't pay attention to the water coming in.  So I got wet, and then what difference did it make?  So I went in, just a little bit, and the water splashed up to my waist.   I didn't go in very far.  It was probably not the best day for a swim. 

Here another picture, taken the same evening as I took the first picture.  It's also a nighttime, long exposure.

Bill and I just got home from the hospital yesterday.  He had a successful hernia operation.  It was a little tricky because of his prior operation, but the doctor in his words, was a little "creative", so he was still able to do it laparoscopically.  I'm sure once we get through the initial period of recovery, he'll be leaping around.  I thank those of you who knew about it for all your good thoughts and prayers and wishes. 

As I sat there in the surgical waiting area, and in the his room afterward and as I spent the night on a cot next to his bed, do you know what I was doing?  I was working on my pictures.  This is why I'm telling you.  It was the best and most interesting and most sustaining thing I could possibly do in that hospital.  Much better than reading a New Yorker that I was initially pleased to see in the waiting room, until I realized it was the same issue that had also been in that waiting room last March.

So anyway, be well, everyone, and thank you for reading my blog.  I got a good sleep last night.  Bill is out of pain.  Everything is good.