Thursday, October 23, 2008

Taking flight

After witnessing the blazing fall colors in Door County, Wisconsin last weekend, the trip home seemed anticlimactic. Stiff winds from the previous day had stripped many of the leaves from the trees. The sky hung in sheets of gray. A squall line of clouds formed over the open water of Lake Michigan where cold air from Canada tussled with the warmer air at the water's surface.

My wife and I stopped in the small town of Kewaunee to take a look at the lighthouse. I have photographed it a number of times and I wanted to try to capture it against the late fall/early winter sky.

I set up a tripod and shot a few frames with a telephoto lens from just off a parking lot in a small beachfront park near the light. I wanted to get a low angle view of the lighthouse behind some old pilings in the water and decided to head down to the water's edge to set up. I picked up the tripod and set off. As I crested a small sand dune I came face to face with a large flock of resting gulls. I stopped dead in my tracks hoping not to disturb them, and for a second it seemed to work. As I considered my options for getting to the water's edge without agitating the birds, one gull decided the guy with the tripod and camera was sufficiently threatening to demand action. It spread its wings and flapped toward the water. That's all it took for several dozen birds to loudly follow suit.

I ran several steps down the dune, chunked the tripod's legs into the sand and quickly fired off three shots as the gulls headed for the pilings. This shot is what I consider the best of the three - the first shot, actually, as the gulls flew in somewhat of a formation. The second and third shots document the gulls going off in all directions.

It was good to get away, to witness the beauty of God's creation and make some good contacts while in Door County (I'm in job seeking/freelance gig mode almost all the time now). The owner of an art gallery expressed enthusiastic interest when I described a series of Door County photos I have been working on for the last two years. If all goes well, I'll be represented in her gallery next spring.

We'll see if that opportunity takes flight.

Click on this post's headline to see the image's EXIF data. Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.

5 comments:

em said...

I read your blog everyday but I never comment! But I had to today when I saw the Kewaunee lighthouse! My dad has a place there that I've been going to since I was born, so it holds a special place in my heart!

Wanda said...

Oh James.... I will say a prayer that the Gallery gives you the opportuniy to show your fabulous work.....

I sure hope it takes flight....

Joan Elizabeth said...

James, what really liked the links to previous photos of the same place. It has inspired me to retrace my steps a little more and see what might show up on a different day. Thanks

I need orange said...

To my eye it's the white tails of the birds that turns this from a nice shot to a great one.

I need orange said...

To my eye it's the white tails of the birds that turns this from a nice shot to a great one.