This is going to be kind of an odd, reflective post, but I promise, I am going somewhere with it. People have asked me about my pictures - which I find incredibly flattering -
and I do work really hard on them, but one of my "secret" ingredients is usually a simple piece of wood. Photography-wise, I find that it can help with the colors when you've got a mostly automatic camera as I do. But I also feel that it adds a personal touch, a piece of "me" in every photograph.
Because it's not just plain old wood that I use in my photos. It's driftwood. That gorgeous, wave-tossed and smoothed sun-dried
type of wood that can only be found on the beaches of lakes and oceans. And I've been collecting it since I was a little, tiny child. I've even made several mobiles out of driftwood with my Dad, one of which hangs even now in my office.
I grew up less than a 30 minute drive from the Big Lake - as we call it back home. From May to mid-October I spent as much time as I could there, in, or on, or walking next to, the water. My great-grandfather was Lower Laker ship captain, and I've either been in, or on, the water ever since I can remember.
Driftwood has always been a wonderful natural resource for climbing, sitting, dragging or writing in the sand...or providing people and bridges for elaborate sand castles. One of my greatest joys has been imparting my love of the lake to my son.
It's a wonderful thing to sit on during bonfires...or to roast marshmallows with ☺
A number of people in coastal regions use it as a kind of lawn art.
And it provides wonderful memories and incredibly gorgeous photo opps.
As Fall takes its place in the seasons, I feel more and more a bittersweet pull towards the sunny beaches and sparkling waters of the Great Lakes. Because I really do enjoy the truly gorgeous Autumn we have here in Canada and the Northern US, and I absolutely love winter, but in the back of my mind I'll always be hearing those waves, feeling that amazingly fine-grained sand against my skin, and waiting for it to be warm enough to go in the water again. And keeping all that souvenir driftwood around the house? It helps me get through the brutal Canadian winter ahead...
*all photo credits are mine, or belong to family members.
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