Sunday, February 5, 2012

For Those Who Wait

Rincon View at Sunset
Rincon, Puerto Rico

Photography like life is marked by time. A great photo is the blessing of the right exposure. Since we can't always physically control light, we can learn to use tools to improve the scene. In life, via maturity, we learn to change our own photograph. Maturity, life's exposure, helps us to render images that we otherwise would have missed.

My philosophy truly is a function of my own journey, my experience. In all candor, I don't always understand the events unfolding before me. What I can say is this: I choose not to miss any of them. I remain curious.

My sister, Lydia, and I spent nearly a week together in Puerto Rico. She willingly joined me on several side trips while limping on a very swollen ankle. I don't know if she just wanted to insure that I was ok or whether it was to witness my process, either way it was fun to be with her.

We spent nearly all of our time with relatives in Moca and San Sebastian. One afternoon, I decided we should go west and see the sunset at Rincon. Swollen ankle and all Lydia joined me.

We meandered through perilous curves which lead us from the roller coaster mountains to the plains near Aguada and finally Rincon. I didn't quite remember my way but I just followed my heart and the sun. After about a forty minute ride and several side stops, we made it to the lighthouse, El Faro, in Rincon.

The inscription on the lighthouse read simply 1921. It was constructed the year my mother was born. It has stoically stood its ground although it witnessed the island's agricultural decline and massive migrations to the US mainland. The storm has always been about the island economy.

My sister and I walked around the base of the lighthouse and headed towards a pier at the beach's end. We waited for the sunset together and thought about my mother's passing and my Dad's new beginning.

The sun's angle began to cast beautiful warm inviting shadows against the grasses. I explained to my sister what a beautiful image that would make. She wondered why I was focused on the setting sun. I've seen the sun set  before I explained the real magic is the light all around us. We focus too much on the setting sun and not quite enough on the details that surround it. I pointed to the pier and to the tall grass. This would make a very interesting photograph. I bet it would look like an Andrew Wyeth painting. All that's missing is Cristina.

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