Sunday morning, January 2, was foggy. Around 8:00 AM, my wife, Elizabeth, suggested I shoot some harbor scenes. She said she’d walk our dog while I photographed. I checked online and found the fog would clear about 9:00 AM about the same time as high tide. Also, the harbor would likely be still because of no wind or boating traffic. Three elements—fog, still water, and high tide—would be intersecting; all in my favor. The fog shrouds the background and visually simplifies most images; the reflections duplicate, or repeat interesting elements; and the high tide, in this case, makes the dock more visually slender.
I shot for a half hour or so, about 30 photos. Early in the shoot, I focused on two primary subjects, an old clamming boat that’s been moored inside the dock inlet during many of the past winters. It’s really worn and shows its age. At this spot, the two dock walkways form a right angle. To keep it off the docks and prevent getting more beat up, the clammer ties a line off the bow and stern to the dock fore and aft. The boat and lines form an hypotenuse between the two walkways. There is sufficient slack in the lines to accommodate the 8-foot tidal range. The boat has been a subject of mine in the past (“One Bag Full”), as I’m sure it’s been with other photographers. Here’s one of the photos:
After several shots, I turned my attention to the harbor. There were still a few lobster boats on their moorings—most of them had been moved to protective waters for the winter. The scenes lent themselves to some interesting compositions when birds paddled by or flew above. Here is “Escorts.”
Around 9:00, I noticed the fog clearing allowing the blue sky to reflect in the water. This combination lent a surreal affect to the village dock and to the working craft at Seymours Marina. I had about a five-eight minute window before the blue sky disappeared.
Following are the best three shots of this short-lived clearing:
It’s rare that a single photo shoot will yield more than one image that resonates with the photographer. As often as not, you may spend a couple of hours shooting—working a scene—and simply return with nothing that chimes.
I was fortunate this day and glad Elizabeth made the suggestion.