Wind Powered Dreams
By Chris Rogers
Chris Rodgers is a native North Carolinian and has been an avid photo enthusiast since he bought his first SLR camera in 1970. Through the decades, creating an appealing image has remained an enduring pursuit of his.
You can see more of his great photography on his Flickr page.
This photo was taken in the small town of Grand Marais, Minnesota on the northwest shore of Lake Superior. I had followed my wife’s lead and gone with her on a “see America via the back roads” camping/road trip from the Piedmont region of North Carolina where we live, to this picturesque little town just south of the Canadian border.
It was around 10:00am, the day of our departure to return home. We took one last swing through town, parked at the municipal shore area, and walked to the water’s edge. With the vastness of the water and the big sky above, I looked across the harbor and spotted two fishermen in a small, flat bottomed fishing boat, sitting motionless in the calm waters to the right of the harbor lighthouse.
I used a *Canon Rebel XT with a Canon EF 75-300 zoom lens. The Rebel XT is light weight and is easy to take along most everywhere. It offers creative control beyond a pocket Point and Shoot. It’s easy to navigate menus allow me to quickly change the ISO setting, white balance and metering modes to manipulate time and aperture values in varied light conditions.
*(We no longer carry the Canon Rebel XT, but recommend its successor the Canon T2i)
Before shooting, I changed from an EF 28-105 to an EF 75-300 as the reach of the smaller focal length left much to be desired. The camera was set on full automatic with AWB and evaluative metering, which is where I leave it if I have no particular objective. Something might pop up that requires a fast response and Rebel XT has good response time in full auto.
In this case, the intensity of the morning sun and the bright scene caused the camera to select ISO 200, shutter speed of 1/500 and an aperture opening of f11. Plenty of speed and depth of field, so I did not shift into Tv or Av mode based on the data I was seeing in the viewfinder.
I snapped a few shots of the fishermen and the lighthouse. I then noticed a sailboat with unusual reddish brown sails about a fourth of a mile to my right. It appeared to be heading directly into the scene I just photographed.
So I waited.
As I had hoped, it eventually slipped silently into the scene. I framed it in my viewfinder and snapped a couple of shots. But it just didn’t feel right. It felt a little too busy with the buoy, lighthouse, the fishermen, and the sailboat. Once the sailboat went in front of the fishermen, I shot again.
The resulting photo has become a favorite of many of my friends and family members.