Sailing from the ground in Port du Cros de Cagnes
Another unplanned opportunity
Having been pretty busy the past few days, I couldn't go out as much I as wanted. Two days ago I had some time to spare outside and decided to just leave home and head "somewhere". There is no doubt in my head, pressing that shutter on the camera is not option for me, it is a need, a must. It just feels right when I'm out and about with my camera. And most of the time, being out just creates opportunities. This time again I had nothing in mind except the pleasure of shooting something somewhere. Turns out it was just that!
One thing I always keep in mind when moving around with a camera is that there will always be something to shoot. Sometimes, if you look too hard, you won't find it. You have to keep your eyes and SEE, not just LOOK. The resulting shot is a matter of choice ad fast. But as Confucius (More about this philosopher on Wikipedia) said:
Everything has beauty, not everyone sees it. I've been using this quote online (and still am) for many years now. It's a great fit for most things, but awesomely appropriate for photography.
Finally found the right spot, at the right time
I knew there was only about an hour before sunset and from my place it's always left or right: mountain or sea. The options are not too bad, but the choice is sometimes hard to make. Going up to the mountains gives a better chance to enjoy some light longer. But at sea level there are so many things happening it might as well bring lots of opportunities. This time I spontaneously picked sea level as my destination and ended up in Port du Cros de Cagnes.
Be faster than Light and know your stuff
The wind had started to pickup a little bit and it was colder now. I knew I had to move on and get ready before it's too late. You basically have to be faster than light! Heck, why not? The sun was getting lower by the minute but it provided amazing golden light and everything looked so beautiful and saturated in color. My eyes were scanning things and people to find something special. I saw senior people installed in the parking lot playing cards on a foldable table, other were playing "pétanque" and laughing together, while nobody actually paid attention to my presence there. But the set and background was not appropriate for photos there. So I move quickly towards École de voile de Cagnes and that's where I got the photo for this post. Kids had just hit the shore with their little sailboats and they were pulling everything from the water for cleaning and storage.
At first I saw the colorful sails, vivid colors compared to the deep blue sea water. Then as I walked around the boats I started to play with the sun behind the sails. moving left and right to make it hide but still allow its rays to shine through and on the edges of things. At this point I knew I only had a couple minutes left. Two. Maybe three. And that's it. So I had a shot a few frames (4-5 I think) and then the game was over.
Call it over when it is
This is when you have to stop and realize that the best light is gone. True, there's always something to shoot, but unless something special presents by itself, the light at this time and season is pretty boring. It the mountains you can still keep shooting for a little while, but at sea level, when the sun goes behind the mountains, you're done. And while I haven't had a chance to take a peak at the photos on the camera's LCD, I still had a feeling those shots with the sail boars would be interesting. But until I see it on my monitor at home, that feeling is highly speculative.
Fortunately, my feeling was right and the most interesting photos were those with the boats. And I didn't have to tweak them a lot. Just a bit of leveling, clarity and vibrance was all it took to make me satisfied.
How do I feel about this shot?
Finding myself in that spot made me feel good. I could see all these people doing things they like, contemplate the warm light in a cold wind, and it confirmed once again that walking around with my camera is the thing I prefer above anything else. What a nice way to "taste" the life of my region?
It also reminded me of a previous post about Îles de Lérins (I actually visited the area of Sainte-Marguerite in January 2013, but later posted a sunset picture of that day in April) while I was there almost a year from now, in January. I spent quite a bit of time in Cros de Cagnes since 2010. One great moment for me was when I got on the fishing boats early in the morning to shoot and experience the poutine fishing activity (I actually went on 3 occasions because I wanted to see how it was very early in the morning, but also how fishermen work and what the poutine is all about. I'm curious by nature, and so happy the fishermen were kind enough to explain their work to me and even offer a ride in their boat. A great experience), a tradition in the area.
If you want to know more about Cros de Cagnes, the port and fishing activity, visit my blog and do a search with these keywords. There are many posts I wrote about this over the past couple years. Enjoy.
© Normand Primeau