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  • As I write these words I look down to and out the harbor. Can’t see too far as we’re in the midst of a snow squall, but it’s very pretty.

    A full handful of lobster boats stayed on their moorings this winter, plus two sailboats. Last year there were only three boats that stayed in all winter.

    My observation is that tougher financial times compel people to forego the expense of hauling out their boats in the fall, storing them all winter, then re-launching come spring.

    We’ve all heard the definition of boats being “a hole in the water into which one pours money.” Yep.

    My favorite boat-reality-check is the one about the word boat being an acronym, B.O.A.T..

    Break out another thousand. Yep.

    I feel a constant void when RAVEN’s not in. She sits just down the bank from the gallery…I can see the top of her mast right now.

    She’d look a lot better on her mooring.

    But this way I do sleep a lot better when the winds are shrieking. Next year, though, I’m leaving her in so I can prowl around offshore. I miss that too much.

    Anyway, here I am ashore, thinking about boats.

    Spectre is one of my favorite boat photographs...made some years ago, down east off Little Cranberry Island.

    But more, this photograph taught me a lot…it became an important lesson. You see, I was shooting Kodachrome back then and a week or so after I made this exposure I was editing my work and saw this on the lightbox.

    “Ehhh,” I thought, “this is boring/banal.” But then on a whim I turned it upside down and it suddenly became an image I like a lot.

    The revelation reminded me, once again, to think outside the box, break rules, be messy, take chances, etc etc etc. No one ever lit up the world by being conventional.

    Now I more readily look at things things differently; I can invert my previsualization of an image and see the potential for reconfiguration. That’s starting to sound suspiciously “arty,” something I detest.

    Let the images speak for themselves.

    You’ve seen Spectre…I like this one. I hope you can imagine why.

    Turn the page and you’ll see Dream, which I knew I would invert even before I picked up the camera that day in my skiff. (I’ve written about Dream elsewhere on Cowbird)

    Turn one more page and you’ll see Dream the "wrong" way, the way it actually appeared from the boat that day.

    Anyway, here I am, thinking about boats...and summer, and taking chances, and being a photographer.

    Lucky me.
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