I’m in northeast Maine for a 10 day family camping trip, but of course I’m always working wherever I am. Quoddy Head State Park is one of my favorite places anywhere, whether photographing or just taking deep breaths of air filled with the sweet aroma of pine trees. I have visited every morning for the past 4 days and had nothing but fog and rain, but every day is a new opportunity to see what nature has to offer.
This particular day started out not much different from the previous attempts, but I had a sense that perhaps, just perhaps, the cloud cover would break in time for sunrise. It did not, and I decided to enjoy the sound of the waves crashing along the rocky coast. the beautiful variety of rocks along the shore, and as I mentioned before the sweetest smelling pine forest I have ever visited. I simply forgot about photography and thought about life and how fortunate I was to actually be in this special place once again.
I suddenly sensed the light change, and as I walked back to the shore along the trail, I was confronted with a scene that instantly reminded me how lucky I really was. I stood and watched the light evolve just long enough to really grasp the entire moment before me, and how I might actually capture it with my camera. Then the pieces slowly fell into place, at least in the short time I had before I knew the light would be gone.
The rocky coast at the bottom anchors the composition, the tiny cove on the left with the rock in the middle creates a sort of tension with the rock in the middle ground, which adds the necessary depth, and the far island (Grand Manan) finishes the middle ground. Of course all of this is simply secondary to the main story, the light, and how it interacts with the elements in the picture. The drama is in the clouds, but without the support of everything else, it loses its power, at least in my opinion. Light and shadows, smooth and jagged, cool and warm. But hinking about photographing the light versus the actual objects in the scene is how I approached the composition.
This is the best way I can explain my thought process, both before and during the actual capture. To me the whole process works together. I hope it give you some insights into your own thinking about making images.