Sunday, July 12, 2015

Guest Blogger - The Story Behind The Image

In October of 2014, I went to the Outer Banks with Mollie/Awake the Light and a group of very delightful and enthusiastic workshop photographers.  I know that we all expected to take wonderful images of sea, sand and sun.  I did not, however, expect to come back from the Outer Banks with my all-time favorite image.  That image is "The Milk Bottles," shown above.

It does not have the best impact, contrast, subject matter, etc.  In fact, when I entered this image in my photography club's monthly competition it did not fare that well, receiving average scores.  I was comfortable with that because this image was, and is, personal for me.  It became my favorite due to the journey it took me on. 

The image was taken on an impromptu stop at the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station, an historic site and museum in Rodanthe, NC.  It was a gray day, with spotty or little sun.  For some reason, this set of milk bottles on the back porch spoke to me.  I loved the old time feel and the look of the cracking paint.  I took the basic shot and moved on.  But I knew this image could be more and deserved a second look.  So, back I went.  I set up the tripod, refined the composition I envisioned, and waited for the sun!!  I decided that this was the image I wanted, and even if the sun never made an appearance, this is where I wanted to be.  I knew that this was going to be at the expense of capturing other images, but so be it.  When the sun peeked through a few minutes later and cast wonderful shadows and reflections, my normally non-existent patience was rewarded. 

This image has taught me a lot.  It taught me to slow down and really evaluate what is in front of you.  It taught me to remain open to all opportunities.  It also taught me that sometimes the image has to take time to come to you.  Most of all, it taught me to listen and appreciate what speaks to you.  I believe that this is what it takes to keep passion in your photography. These take-aways gave me inspiration and rejuvenated my love for photography.  And, hopefully, these lessons will make me a better photographer. 

Mollie knew what this image meant to me.  So I shared with her a personal victory.  At our club's annual awards banquet, this image was given the “Creative Print of the Year” award.  I believe it was because the passion I had for this image came through, and the journey this image took me on was experienced by others.  That’s the story behind “The Milk Bottles.”  

TECHNICAL DATA:    Aperture f/22.  ISO 400.  Camera: Nikon D800.  Lens: 70-300 Nikkor Lens set at 250mm.  5 Image HDR processed in Photomatix.  Antique brown/gold gradient texture added in post processing using “Multiply” blend mode. 

TODAY’S QUOTE: “Patience is the art of hoping.”  -Marquis de Vauvenargues

MOLLIE’S COMMENTS: From a distance, I saw Cindy watching and waiting. She was hopeful that the light would do what she wanted, and that she could get the shot she envisioned. Her patience and perseverance, plus her innate creativity and superb eye, enabled her to capture this magnificent image. Congratulations, Cindy!  

Cindy Gosselin Bio:  Recently retired after 26 years as an industrial / fire debris chemist in the insurance industry.   Chemistry did not allow for any creativity, so photography came along just in time.  I had dabbled a "little" in photography before joining Charter Oak Photographic Society in 1998.   This unleashed and freed up my creative side and I have loved photography ever since.  I started with slides.... loved the color and saturation of this media.  Digital followed, and unleashed even more creativity.  I am on the Board of Charter Oak.  I am also on the boards of NECCC and CAP (Connecticut Association of Photographers). I have a friend who once stated that the most significant improvement to his photography occurred when he retired.  I can't wait!!! 


  1. This is really a beautiful image. I can understand why it's your favorite Cindy. It's the kind of image I'd take too if I saw such a scene. I attended a workshop at NECCC this past July and one of the speakers kept repeating, "make images of what makes your heart sing". You did just that!

  2. Cindy replied: "I am on the board of NECCC and was at the conference. I will remember the adage that she sent me and keep trying to take images that definitely "make my heart sing." It's what keeps me motivated and gives me inspiration."