This photo was taken one year ago today at Boulder Beach in Acadia National Park. That day was the end of a 5 day photography workshop though Arizona Highways Photo Workshops, http://friendsofazhighways.com/. It was also my dad’s birthday, the first since he had passed in January.
A few months prior to the workshop I was trying to decide which workshop to attend. Going on a multi-day photo workshop was something I had wanted to do for a very long time. As I was reading the brochure for 2012 workshops, “Summering in Acadia” caught my attention. I had never been to Maine or the East Coast for that matter. But the dates of the workshop were the most eye-catching. The workshop would be held for 5 days and during that time was Father’s Day, my birthday and my dad’s birthday. Knowing that the first Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday since my dad’s passing would be hard, this workshop was exactly what I would need. When I told my siblings of my plan, my brother said “All the way over there?” and my sister “By yourself?”. Myself being that I didn’t know any of the other people on this workshop. My only apprehension was I had barely picked up my camera in three years. Would I be able to make at least one quality image?
On this last day of the workshop we were to load the vans at 3:45 a.m. just like all the previous days. Yes, that’s really early and we did that 4 days in a row! When loading my gear in the van I felt sprinkles. I asked one of the guys if he felt it sprinkling and he said “No, it’s the sprinklers” and I replied “In the parking lot?”. We both laughed.
Upon our arrival at Boulder Beach it was more than sprinkling, it was raining, but not horizontal rain that our instructor kept talking about. Rain gear was a must for us and our camera gear. We slowly walked down a muddy and slippery incline and across wet algae covered boulders, which were also quite slippery, to find our spots to shoot. I perched myself and my gear on a large boulder and set up to shoot. The boulder was cold, wet and slick. I had my rain pants and hooded rain jacket on as well as my wide-brimmed hat that has sun protection and is waterproof. Myself and my camera gear were kept dry, but the mosquitos were awful. They were large and so many that morning, even with the rain. I had the hood of my jacket on and cinched it as close to my face as possible. Our instructor, Colleen Miniuk-Sperry, author of You Can Sleep When You’re Dead http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/, laughed when she saw me.
We were hoping to get a break in the cloud cover and get an amazing sunrise. After taking several wide shots of Otter Cliffs, I focused on the crashing waves against Boulder Beach. Shooting crashing waves is addicting! Every shot is different and you always wonder if the next wave will be better. I was watching the waves and hoping for a big wave. My shutter speed was long (8 seconds) creating the ghostly or milky look of the waves in this photo. In this photo the waves crashed not once, but twice while my shutter was open! Colleen had been watching me and asked “Did you get it?” and I replied “Yep, I got it!”. We shot in the rain for about an hour that morning. The break in the clouds we were hoping for never came, although there was a brief moment when the sun tried to break through and some great light shone on Otter Cliffs.
As I was shooting, my dad was certainly on my mind. What would he think of my adventure? Would he have been happy for me or thought I “was crazier than a pet coon” (something he use to say)? Because Father’s Day, my birthday and my dad’s birthday fell so close together (sometimes my birthday falling on Father’s Day) it was not uncommon for us to celebrate together. All were celebrated together during this workshop, but in a different way.
I have so many memories and stores of my trip to Acadia National Park. Maybe I’ll share more here.
Have I ever shot in horizontal rain? Well, that’s another story for another day.
©Tamara Becker and Different Isn’t Wrong, It’s Just Different, 2013.
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