I have photographed Fort Clinch on Amelia Island around a dozen times. I’m fascinated by the light and architecture—the many tunnels, windows, doorways, arched ceilings and worn, handmade bricks. I usually go with my tripod, camera and one or two zoom lenses on lightly overcast (preferred) or sunny days.
Earlier this week, I was on the island and it started raining. I ditched my plans, grabbed my camera and drove to the fort. No tripod, no zoom lenses, no filters. Just a 50mm lens and an umbrella. The rain tapered, but it was still wet, drizzly and moody.
Shooting in different weather wasn’t my only motive for returning. I wanted to try looking at the fort in new ways. Handholding allowed me to be more playful. The 50mm lens required me to zoom with my feet—physically moving closer to or farther away from my subject.
I noticed some things had changed at the fort. Furniture had been rearranged; some windows had been opened while others had been closed; the pantry was open in the kitchen; white barriers had been randomly placed along an exterior staircase (above); a different (interpretive) soldier was on duty.
When you find a subject or location you like to photograph, keep going back. See what has changed. Capture different moods by photographing in different seasons or light. Push yourself creatively by focusing on something different, using a different lens, or experimenting with a different technique each time you go. Be open to the serendipitous—the interaction of people or animals with a place or each other. One time think broad views; another time think intimate details. Look for opportunities to tell different stories about or reinterpret a place.
Is there somewhere close to your home or a place you travel to often that you could photograph regularly? Why not start building a portfolio of images about that place? If you do, I'd love to hear about your experience.
Amelia and the Southern Sea Islands
March 18-24, 2018
Explore your creative vision amidst quiet beaches, expansive marshes, shady maritime forests with windswept oaks, a charming Victorian town and unique historic sites such as Fort Clinch and Kingsley Plantation. Discover new ways to connect more intimately with the landscape and capture a sense of place.
Amelia Island, our base for the week, is the northernmost barrier island among Florida’s Atlantic Coast. We'll head out each day to catch both the morning and evening light, then gather midday for image reviews and discussions.
You'll love the accommodations at the Amelia Seaside Inn, which is just steps from the ocean and minutes from the Fernandina Beach historic district. We'll start the week with a casual gathering on Sunday evening, then celebrate our accomplishments at a closing dinner on Friday.
Click here for more information.
Like others, I am glued to news and weather updates as Hurricane Irma makes her way across the Caribbean and north toward Florida and other southern states. Images from last week’s Hurricane Harvey continue to haunt and raise questions. And raging fires in western states are heartbreaking.
Nature has a way of putting things in perspective. In nature, we can find peace and comfort. And yet, nature sometimes shows her fury--reminding us not only that we are not in charge, but also that we must care for our planet.
May those of you, those you know and all others impacted by these storms and fires be safe, be strong and remain hopeful for better days to come.