Friday, October 2, 2009

Don't Forget The Detail Shots

Often, when we go out shooting, we "see" the big picture and forget to look at the details. Today's image is a detail. It's a big detail in the scheme of things, probably fifty square feet or so, but a detail none the less. A detail is a piece of something. It can be as big as one side of the top of a lighthouse, or as small as the hinge on an antique music box. The reason for taking a detail shot can be as simple as recording something. It can also be a reasonably strong image on it's own. With today's image, I'm pretty sure anyone looking at it (who might be familiar with lighthouses) can identify what the subject is. I suppose someone could be baffled if they were from the midwest or a country that is landlocked and had never been exposed to any images of the famous lighthouses of America. Lighthouses have been around for thousands of years. The Lighthouse at Alexandria is one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World". Every state that has a seacoast probably has postcards of the lighthouses that dot the coastline. One of the "wonders" of detail shots is the "story" they tell. In today's image you can see a crack in the mortar between the blocks. Do the authorities know about this flaw? Will it cause damage to the structure that leads to it's destruction at some point? The gutter appears to be made of copper, as witnessed by the patina starting to show on it's surface. The windows are discolored with sea salt just because of where the lighthouse sits. Does it affect the light? There have been several lighthouses features as images on the blog. To find out where this one is, hit the "read more".

The lighthouse used for today's image is in the aptly named "Lighthouse Park" in New Haven Connecticut. It's visible in the distance as people cruise Route 95 along the Connecticut coast. From the highway it looks to be a toy out on the end of a spit of land. It's only there for a moment or two, and you have to know when to look to see it, but it draws visitors just as any lighthouse attracts the curious. Lighthouse Park, once you get there, is a busy place on a summer's afternoon. There's a beach area, a carousel, pavilions and a rocky piece of coast favored by fishermen. We've been there a couple of times on Saturday afternoons and typically a wedding was going on. One appeared to be quite formal, taking place under one of the pavilions and another seemed to be more ad hoc. The one under the pavilion had the bride in a white gown and the groom an a tux. The "ad hoc" version featured brightly colored parasols.
On the opposite side of the lighthouse from the parasol wedding was another party, of people fishing. One in particular caught my eye. An older man and his wife, standing on the rocks, casting into the oncoming surf. He, in a white shirt and fedora. She with a scarf and wide brimmed hat. She, sitting and relaxing, her pole lightly held, waiting patiently. He, casting and reeling at a full tilt. It was obvious the couple had been together for quite some time. He, the fading go getter. She, the calming influence that has kept the "boat" of their lives on an even keel.
Was the last paragraph accurate? Who knows, but every time I flip through the images of a day at Lighthouse Point it makes me smile. It's a story. Told in the details of the time spent there. Without the detail shots there's just be another lighthouse and no cause to linger over the shots. .