Spanning the Mississippi

Landscape Photography of Natchez Bridge

“Spanning the Mississippi”

As a child, I sometimes played along the banks of the mighty Mississippi on the Natchez side when I visited my great Aunt. At the time, she lived on Canal Street directly on top of the bluff that overlooked the river. The site where her house stood is now part of the National Park that dominates the overlook. My siblings and my cousins would gather there to play almost every weekend, and we became very familiar with the entire area. I clearly remember the unusual, coarse, gritty consistency of the river sand and clay, and all of the river debris that washed up on the banks: old dead tree stumps, trash, bottles, logs, lumber and sometimes, the heavy steel cabled tow-ropes as seen in the foreground here, laying half buried in sand. 

While my forays took me up and down the banks on the Natchez side, I rarely visited the Vidalia side of the river. At the time there were concrete pallets being made int he area under the bridge if I remember correctly. This photograph is form the Vidalia side, which obviously is much more accessible to viewers. Despite the modern bridges, this “trolls-eye view” has an ancient lonely, melancholy feel to it; which for me, the river has always seemed to exude. The river and its ever-shifting banks are a favorite subject matter for my landscape images, and she always seems to present a new and fresh face.

This shot is from the Vidalia, Louisiana side looking back east across the river toward Natchez, Mississippi. It was taken in May 2015 with a Nikon D810, using a Nikkor 16mm fisheye lens: f/3.5; ISO 64; at 1/25th of a second.

The Solemnity of Priests

Seeing Light in Event & Creative Photography

Seeing Light in Event & Creative Photography

 

The opportunity for this image resulted from always paying close attention for seeing amazing displays of light. The venue resonated with me due to its tranquil mood and captivating solemnity. The subjects in the image are Roman Catholic priests at a fellow priest’s jubilee, marking his fiftieth year of being ordained in the priesthood.

 

I was asked by the Church to photograph and video the occasion, which actually was a very great honor. I caught these men in a moment of prayer and deep reflection on what their calling and sacrificial life means … to them … to God … and to those they are called upon to shepherd. We can only imagine what they are thinking, but we can tell that they are focused, at peace, and very serious about their mission. When I was reviewing the images, this one stood out from all the rest. For me, it captures something I treasure in my own life: solitude and deep peace even while surrounded by events, people, and the difficult circumstances that this life often throws at us. It is very apparent that these priests operate out of a core reality that eludes many people, which is to be grounded spiritually and to lead lives with eternal value. I need more of that in my own life. I hope the image speaks to you in a similar and profound way.

This event took place in June of 2014 at Twin Oaks, an antebellum home in Natchez, Mississippi. The image was captured using a Nikon D7100 at f/5.0, ISO 400, 1/30th of a second at a focal length of 92mm (crop sensor), in ambient (available) light only. It was processed with Adobe Lightroom 5. 



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