My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

“Newport, RI – the magic pull of water.”

“A Light To Guide Me”


There is a special pull about a water environment that keeps me going back. I grew up near the water –  canoed and kayaked on it, played and swam in it. Now I create pictures of its reflections, the shore line and in Newport Rhode Island, the sailboats on its choppy waters. The chance to shoot large racing class boats up close and in action, drew me to this outing.

A group of us met at the harbor to really test our skills at taking photographs of these sleek fast sailboats. I would be shooting from a chase boat that bobs and weaves with the rhythm of the race. Just as I had done in the past, when shooting an unfamiliar event, I studied the subtle movements first. I watched the light as my position changed on what seemed a very unstable surface. This was due in part by our smaller chase boat which moved in tandem with the larger ever-changing sailboats. Trying to compose and expose turned out very challenging at first but, once I got my sea legs working, I started to anticipate the movements of these graceful crafts. I relaxed and clicked away. It was amazing to see  how much work it took to keep the wind in their sails while speeding toward a distant finish line. The teamwork was at times static and then very frenetic when the right amount of wind turned up the pace of the race.

After the race, I was introduced to the many varieties of boats on the water at any given time. From small and large sailboats, both young and rustic in form, to speed boats and even the immense Queen Mary. The size of the latter can only be really appreciated when at water level from about 20 yards away while staring up and watching the sky disappear. Reaching shore from a long day of shooting and after what seemed an hour, my body and equilibrium started to settle down and become grounded once again. The group was treated to some land shooting of lighthouses and fishermen plying their trade. When the occasional boat would drift by, I felt my pulse quicken while remembering the excitement of the race environment I was exposed to earlier in the day.

Eventually I settled back into my land lubber legs where even the call of the water couldn’t replace a stable surface to work on, create and compose – until the time would come when I would feel its magic pull again.


23 responses

  1. Beautiful images thats reminds me that there is hope in everything, that goodness can happen even when we had to go through hard times in our lives. Thanks for sharing about the recent events in Newtown CT. I was experiencing a similar emotion that you mentioned in your comment. I can not imagine finish watching or reading or looking as the faces without tearing up. Then monday came and my son told me they had a drill about what to do if a bad man enters their school. The reality that my son and his generation will never feel safe again sadden me more with a mixture of anger. We as a nation should unite in thoughts, actions and prayer to make sure such act of evil will “never” happen again. Wishing you and your family all the joyful blessings of Christmas.


    December 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm

  2. Your pictures are devine Mike!! wooww!! Its just a wonder the way the light hits each of the boats, the light house and the water.. so beautiful.. 🙂


    December 15, 2012 at 6:23 am

    • You are very right Abby…. light had everything to do with that day of shooting. When it hits it is just magical for me…. kinda like words that gel for you.


      December 16, 2012 at 1:35 am

  3. I’ve been to Rhode Island, but didn’t have a chance to visit the coast. I see now that that was an unfortunate deficiency! Number 14’s my favorite.


    November 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

    • Thanks Gary… that was a really sweet shot for me. I knew it would look cool in B/W. The trouble was the fisherman as I wanted him sharp and had to wait until he did not move.


      November 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm

  4. That Guiding Light Shot is a super-shot, Mike. I love the your headline too – and the water seires 🙂


    November 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    • That was a lucky experiment… I was shooting directly into the sun and also trying to time the fast moving sailboat… thanks for the visit Truels.


      November 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm

  5. Iwalani

    I lived within walking distance of the ocean until I was 18 years old and even sailed across the Pacific twice on a 42′ ketch, but I hadn’t learned to see the world through a lens back then. Now that I tote a camera, I must get back on the water….and pretend to “shoot like Mike.” Beautiful set, my friend.


    November 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    • Thanks so much Eva… I know you cover the high altitude road and I live vicariously through your adventures. For me the lowlife fits 🙂


      November 25, 2012 at 3:43 am

  6. Superb action shots Mr. Mike! I could feel the sea spray…I really like the silhouette of the bowman, it has just enough of a different composition. Great job! And it looked like tons of fun too!


    November 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    • It’s hard to keep up with my big brother ‘Mike’. I had a great time once I learned how to line things up on the water. Those shadows really made it for me … glad you liked them.


      November 25, 2012 at 3:40 am

  7. Such a beautiful series… Truly gorgeous images! I’ve never been to the area, but it looks stunning.


    November 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    • Fey… if you go, try and spend some time on the water…it truly gives off another perspective.


      November 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm

  8. WOW- wonderful images. I love the mixture of the shadows, reflections and patterns!


    November 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    • Thanks Cyndie… those silhouettes just drew me in.


      November 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  9. WOW! You got a lot from that workshop! My favorites are the sail close-ups and the B&W shore scene with the distant figure. Wonderful!


    November 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

    • Those sail patterns were really fun to find… the port had so many ships… the old ones really had character.


      November 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm

  10. Love this and I truly need a vacation but alas funds are funny so vicarously I read the masses and enjoy through osmosis…thank you Mike


    November 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    • Glad to be of service… I hear you on the money end, it takes me awhile to plan and save also. Thanks for the visit


      November 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm

  11. Kathleen

    Awesome series of images telling a great story!!! Thanks again Mike!!!


    November 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    • Thank you for the visit Kath… always looking for the story behind the pics and place.


      November 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

  12. Diane Morton

    Wonderful pictures as always Mike! I was in Newport this summer – isn’t it fabulous?!


    November 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    • Ahhh … the food and the port were fantastic… the lifestyle, a lil rich for my blood 🙂


      November 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm

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