Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In the Interest of Full Disclosure Dept.

One More Embrace Before We Go, 2010

No, I don’t have anything to disclose about taking money or gifts from anyone to promote or say anything here. (Though I’m still more than willing to become a shameless shill for Nikon. All it takes is one D3 and a couple of good lenses, guys.) It’s more of a confession or, as I’m choosing to look at it, a lesson in how unexpected consequences are frequently better than anything you planned.

I posted One More Embrace Before We Go, above, at Flickr yesterday. It’s part of the ongoing At The Beach project. When this image first came out of the camera I was struck by the sinuous lines of the water, the warm tone of the sand and the two figures and their close fit. “Embrace” was the first thought that came to mind.

Here’s the confession and the unexpected consequence: There’s only one person in this photograph; it is a single man standing at the edge of the Lynnhaven Inlet tidal basin holding a blue bait net. He’d just gathered up the net as I approached. I was waiting for him to toss it back out across the water again so that I could apply the panning movement that I’ve been using in this series and get a photograph with a broad sweep of blue against the background of the green water.

Only as I stood there waiting for him to do this, I discovered that he was actually rolling up the net up in preparation for going home. Just as he finished rolling the net into a long cylinder shape about as tall as he was, I quickly panned the camera from left to right and got the image that you see here.

The “two” figures are so closely aligned because they are the same figure. The blue is not another person. It’s the net. My abstract eye saw the moment as two figures embracing, though, and I’m sticking to that story!

But for now I’m going to go take a shower and wash away my shame.


  1. I love secrets! Now I'm going to go tell everyone!

  2. oh nono, no shame! art is interpretative, art is making something out of what we "see" or what influences us! Your aim is not photo-journalism here, in this series, but evocation. I love this image! No less because of the story behind it! In fact, I would go one step further, and imagine that the resulting ghostlike "embrace"is perhaps the manifestation of something going on in his life now... we can all imagine a story...

  3. Well, at least you never actually said that there were two "people" embracing in the title ...

  4. Oh, that's wonderful. I love that story, and now that I look closer at it, I see it, but I still love the image it conveys. Fabulous. See--if you had a coffee table book out there and they were interviewing you, asking you about your art, you'd have this great story to bring smiles to everyone's faces.

  5. Even though I've seen folks doing exactly what you describe, in that very spot, countless times I never would have guessed that was a casting net. I think it's a great image, Chris!

  6. I like the way it looks-one person-2 persons
    I likes it!
    Perhaps you could do a self-portrait spinning?
    That one is scary...