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  • We went down to the ocean (it's really the Gulf of Mexico, but it's all of the ocean that we have, which is more than some) - I, David, Danielle, and Erika - to take photos for a 3-image set that has been kicking around in my head for months. I dropped the three off at the far end of the state park, and while I went to park the car and walk the mile and a half down the shore back to where I left them, they carried the tall mirror and all my gear onto the beach. We worked for two hours, taking different shots and setting the mirror in various places. The sun was going down, troubling our photo shoot. But Erika looked beautiful in her flowing black dress, her hair tossed by the wind, and she lifted her face to the setting sun and ignored the stares of the passing beachcombers who didn't know what to make of us with our mirror and our model in her formal gown on the beach.

    After the sun set and it got too dark to do any more work, we put away the camera gear and ran to change into our bathing suits. David and Danielle found that the water was too dark for them, but Erika and I walked out into the midnight waves until we were up to our chin in the warm salt water. The moon had already set, and the dark water reflected a little of the starshine. We could see the Milky Way arching over us, and we lay back in the water, the better to let the stars surround us.

    After what seemed like hours in the water, I said, "Let's go back in. I want to see if my camera can capture the Milky Way." So we let the waves and the tide push us back to shore, and I dried off and took my camera out again, settling on its tripod. Erika went back down to the water to look up at the stars. It was so dark, she was barely a dim figure in my eyesight, and looking through the camera lens, I had to guess at her location and at the horizon. I set my focus to infinity and opened the aperture wide open, flicked the shutter and counted off the seconds.
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