it dawned on one of us

I can’t remember what the “holiday” was, but some friends and I decided to catch a Wrightsville Beach, NC chilly sunrise.

Perfect Rise

I believe I may have been the only photographer in the bunch, and I was Ready to “capture” (such a silly word for photography) the rising sun at the horizon. We all alternately huddled and stomped about in the sand to keep warm while waiting. As the brightness rose, most of our moving stopped as we stood in mute anticipation of the moment when that great orange bowling ball would finish slow-mo bursting through that break in the bank of clouds clinging to the ocean.

Silence. Even the seagulls had dissipated elsewhere.
Then one voice broke the spell.
“Guys.. the sun is rising over Here
Meaning.. Not where We were expecting it in that cloud break, but several degrees around the horizon, to the northeast.
No apps to pinpoint sunrisings, back then,

but there’s probably not an app to avoid wishful presumption anyway.

Published by

Wayne Upchurch

For years, as a “professional ogler” (a newspaper staff photographer), I simultaneously explored photography as craft/process/medium in its own right. The photojournalism work –credentials and mindset– got me into (and out of) places I would certainly never have had access to on my own. I was also practicing the discipline of getting a picture where there didn’t appear to be one and getting it Finished in a timely manner, to professional standards. I also learned to create imminently readable images despite poor reproduction in a small size. Though it took me several years to get this, the value of making photos that illustrated something already laid out in the story was suddenly Not Enough, and I began to make assignment pictures that added dimensions not already in the writing, or better Yet, raised questions so that the reader would go to the story for more answers. Having gained more than dreamt of, when starting out, I left to pursue my own personal photography, mounting exhibits along the way. I also worked with commercial photographer friends doing studio product photography, and making headshots for actors. Later, I also helmed a Public Radio “spacemusic” program, and acted in a Wilmington, NC drama company. I put the cameras away for a few years, to finish shedding the habit of self-limiting my identity as just “Photographer”, and can now pursue personal pleasure and expression through the freedom that digital imaging offers. Sharing photos on Flickr and participating locally in meetups and outings has renewed a passion for making new images and for sharing the process with others. For some time, I’ve found myself writing detailed comments on other people’s photos, as well as thoughts and pet ideas about photography, in general.

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