The end of a two year project, “Golden Hour at White Rock Lake“, is my most recent photo book and now available at Blurb.
It is satisfying to complete a project like this. It was a lot of work and involved many trips trips to the lake. Hundreds of images were photographed and only 73 images chosen to be included.
Sunrise was the most challenging, but the most peaceful. This is the time I photograph from the west side of the lake. Headlamp on my hat, backpack with cameras and lenses on my back, and tripod and stool in my hands. Setup must be early – at least forty-five minutes before sunrise if I know exactly where I will be setting up. (I try to scout potential sights during more sensible hours.) After setting up the tripod and attaching the camera, I sit and wait with a thermos of coffee in hand.
This is the beginning of your of day. Peaceful. Tranquil. As light begins to appear, the birds begin to leave their sleeping spots and fly in groups. Even at this very early hour and in the darkness, many people are out to greet the day – runners and walkers – alone, in groups and with pets.
When the light begins to appear I adjust the camera, and recheck or reset the exposure, and start shooting.
Sundown is very different. Again, I plan to be in position on east side of the lake forty-five minutes before sundown, and arrive a my pre-determined location. Setting up is easier in the light, and coffee isn’t essential. Joggers, walkers, and pets take advantage of the remaining hours of sunlight to unwind and decompress from the day. Birds take to the sky to begin heading home to roost. Lovers come to see see the sunset and take in the beauty of the setting sun. Even workers stop to watch the final minutes of sunlight. But wait! Some of the best light and most spectacular views take place within thirty to forty-five minutes after sunset. Don’t leave too soon!
It is easy to get caught up in the beauty of sunrise and sunset and the spectacular views. But there is more to the experience than natural beauty. The interaction to these events by people and animals is part of the experience too.
I know that Golden Hour at White Rock Lake will not be on the NY Times best seller list, and I know that the price will discourage many (most) from buying it. But that is OK. This was a personal project from which I derived a lot of personal satisfaction, and I believe it shows some of my best photographic work. I’m a firm believer that photographs should be printed – not just viewed on a computer screen. Self-publishing a print-on-demand photo book is time-consuming, involves multiple drafts and expensive. But I made the decision to print it on high quality paper – and I wanted to have it printed in the USA. Both of these drive up costs. I might be the only customer for this project, but that is fine. I have a printed copy of photographs that I’m proud of and a satisfying project completed.
Note: The price of the printed book is $55 (plus shipping), but an instant download PDF version is available for $8. In addition, you can preview the entire book before committing to buy and this is a great way to see the book online.
See the Golden Hour at White Rock Lake sales page at Blurb for review and sales.