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Over the past year several people who viewed my work strongly suggested that I go to Block Island. I have this rule that if I am told to visit a place three times then I should take it seriously. That's how I ended up visiting the Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1996 which led to a ten year photographic and spiritual journey through the Barrancas del Cobre and Sierra Tarahumara of that beautiful and layered land. You can see some of that work in my Dancing Moon gallery on the website.
So, I went to Block Island to see what they were talking about and I loved it! And, it was a lot easier getting there than it was getting to the bottom of those amazing canyons in Mexico! I took the car ferry from Point Judith since I knew I would be scouting and shooting various locations on the island and my equipment would not allow for a bicycle or scooter.
Getting oriented, finding great locations and making worthwhile images in a strange place in a matter of two or three days is extremely challenging. Every hour is important and the time flies between sunrise and sunset. My general feeling is if I create a really strong, creative image once a day on a shoot like this I have had a raging success. It doesn’t always happen.
I headed to the north end of the island that first afternoon to scout the low, Sandy Point area and the North Light House. As I shot some preliminary tests I noticed the sky behind me was developing into something promising and decided to change tack and head southeast to the higher Mohegan Bluffs area and try to get down to the beach before the sun sank into the ocean.
I made it just in time, worked my way down to the rocky beach below, set my tripod in shallow water and started shooting. Though I was loosing light quickly I was able to shoot at a lens setting that stopped the motion of the water and rendered a good depth of field from foreground to background, not always my goal, but for this shot I felt it was the best strategy. Staying relaxed, breathing and relying a lot on instinct helped as the light faded quickly.
I spent three nights on Block Island. I shot and scouted continuously from before sunrise until after sundown, editing at night on my laptop. This is still my favorite shot!
Image: Mohegan Sundown - 9/18/19 ~ Day’s End
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