Lake Sakakawea


Canon XSI, Tamron 17-50 2.8, 8-stop Neutral Density Filter, Cokin P-Series, P120 Graduated Neutral Density Filter

June.  The eastern shore of Lake Sakakawea.  After setting up my camp, I venture out to a nearby shoreline for the magic hour.  It’s just me, the camera, and a few birds in the trees.  In the middle of June the evenings are still cool, especially off the lake.  The sun sets for hours.  There’s no rush.  I look for light, for reflection, for compositions, for the “strongest way of seeing”.  Fallen branches and driftwood form abstractions against the sky and in the water.  The light changes in fine gradients.  Every so often a bird flutters in the brush.  The water laps the shore, almost imperceptibly.  All tallied, the evening is nearly silent.  The air tastes cool, fermented.  The sun is golden, subdued.  There’s a picture waiting in the water.  I walk around the scene, examining it as if were something expensive for purchase.  I secure the tripod, affix filters.  I survey through the viewfinder, the world miniaturized and vibrant.   I adjust parameters.  The gauges balance out.  Everything around is still.   I depress the button.  The shutter opens and snaps closed,  capturing the calm while at the same moment shattering it to pieces.

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