I just had a conversation with a fellow photographer and while we have differences in how we approach our craft, we’re both working to bring more simplicity to our images. That’s easier said that done. Any direction we turn there are dozens of things to fill up our field of vision. How often would we describe our surroundings as an aesthetic of simplicity; for most of us, rarely if ever.
So I look for vignettes of simplicity within a frame of my surrounding. A vignette is a subset of my field of view, the whole scene broke into little rectangles. That’s how I find simplicity. Another way to put it is we just need to keep reducing our scope until simplicity emerges from the clutter.
So when we simplify something, it becomes more accessible as an idea. It becomes an archetype of sorts and then our imaginations can begin to fill in. For me this is the essence of art, to hold attention and evoke imagination. When we look at a scene and we are drawn in, we are daydreaming inside that scene. And what better way to appreciate something than to daydream inside of it.
My guess is that this standing body of water is covered in some type algae which has robbed it of oxygen. If I’m right about that then there really is no life here, just a still quiet dead pool.
I first noticed this while hiking through here and recently came back with my mountain bike and camera. Its inside a state park and there are several of these standing pools of water, but this one grabs your attention because there are no birds or life of any form and has this smooth velvet-like green carpet on the surface.
However in the hurricane season when we get torrential rains and a high tide at the same time these pools get reconnected to the bayou and probably come back to life for a short spell as the water becomes oxygenated again.
Anyway, there is a path around it and plenty of angles to look at this spectacle. With the bayou, mangroves and wetlands so full of life this presents an unexpected sight. It reminds me of the Tolkien Dead Marshes. In one sense it appears quite beautiful but I fear that if I get too close I might never be seen again. I can’t help but let my imagination runs a little wild when I see sights like this. This is a real-life dead pool. Your oxymoron for the day.
This is from a few years ago in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I took this from a hotel room we stayed at before boarding a cruise ship. It was early in the morning before leaving the hotel and as I opened up the glass door to the veranda my lens immediately fogged. I had to be patient and wait for fifteen minutes or so while the temperature of the glass equalized with the outside air. That happens when you go between air conditioning and a hot humid climate. Coming from Florida I should have been used to it.
When we got on the ship and headed into the Caribbean the same thing happened all the time. The cabin was climate controlled and as soon as the camera hit the outside air it fogged. The same happened with eye glasses. The best thing is to let the camera warm for about thirty minutes before shooting. As I said, I should have known because I go through the same routine every summer here in Florida.
Anyway, we were only here in San Juan for a couple of days. The sights, food and people were all amazing and I’d go back in a minute. The people that I know and have met from here all have a combination of purpose and friendliness that is unique to this island. I believe this island and its people are a treasure of the caribbean.