Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In Front, Out of View

Every day, it's the same thing.

Every day, it's something new.

When I first decided to start my Bate Island Project, where I stop at the same spot on Bate Island every time I cross the Champlain Bridge, put the same lens on my camera, and point at the same view, I thought it would get old really fast, that I would become bored with taking the same picture, and that no one would want to look at them.

But I was wrong.

The subject, though the same, is ever-changing. The weather, though similar on some days, is largely different. The lighting always changes. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, objects in the foreground will change: a duck or goose will idly float on the river. A gull will fly past. Once, a person sat on the rocks at the shore, enjoying the view. She wasn't even aware of me walking up behind her, snapping the shot, and walking away.

On many mornings, this spring, the geese prefer this side of the island, seemingly want to greet the sun as it ascends over the skyline, and so I wade through the gaggle, compose and capture my shot as they waddle past, at my feet.

This morning, as I walked toward the park bench that is my marker, I couldn't help but notice something new in front of where I stand. Sometime between 5:00 yesterday afternoon and 6:30 this morning, someone had erected an inuksuk.

As I approached my spot, I hoped that the top of the stone structure would fit in the frame of my daily photo, but as I got closer I knew that wouldn't be the case or, at worst, only a tiny portion of it would be visible and it would be a distraction from the shot—noise on the edge of my picture.

It wasn't. From the angle at which I stood and the building I always align with the focus sensor, none of the inuksuk appeared in my frame.

But I wanted to capture this creation. Who knew how long it would last. (Is it bad luck to overturn one?)

Here it is:

You can see some of the bush, which is always in the foreground of my photos, to the right of the photo. That's how close this inuksuk came to being part of my Bate Island Project photo.

If you want to view a slide show of my Bate Island Project photos so far, either click the photo at the right-hand column or click here.

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