Last week I read the latest ebook from David duChemin about landscape photography. Portraits of Earth is about how he came to view landscape photography much like his people photography. David deChemin, like so many of us, loves photography for its ability to keep both hemispheres of our brains active. Yet, he strives to emphasize it is not the gear but how you use the gear you have. For it does not matter if you own an iPhone or the most expensive camera in the world. It is how you SEE the world and how you USE the gear to translate what you see into a photograph.
In my landscape photography, I like to include human elements. The storm front which swept through North America last weekend gave me an opportunity to photograph Man’s continuing attempt to tame Nature.
The breakwall which protects the harbor of Oswego, New York used to be a wide, flat wall back in the late 1880′s. With technology, the West Pierhead Lighthouse no longer needed to be manned nor the breakwall maintained. The breakwall has since deteriorated with the constant battering of Lake Ontario waves. After the weather front passed through central New York, strong winds shifted out of the Northwest and created large swells on the lake. They hit and sprayed large amounts of water over the crumbling breakwall.
Nature in its fury often adds contrasting beauty in its wake. A setting Sun painted the sky about the scene of waves crashing into the breakwall. Adding pastel colors to the power of the wind and water.
Ah, but the photographer’s mind wants to show Nature is not all about tension with Man. A long exposure at dusk can turn the fury into a whisper.