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Wednesday, 22 December 2021


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Some of us weren't even fortunate enough to get a picture.......

It is a lovely image for sure, Mike. Definitely echos your story, and proves the point it is not the gear, but the 'why' behind the image that makes it art.


We are born alone. We live alone. And we die alone. There is no disputing the first line and the last. As to that long middle stretch, we don't think so, but we do.

No one really knows what makes each one of us tick. Precious few would care to know. More than a few of us don't want others to know.

Some of us like to reach out. A few more than that like to be reached. Those who don't reach out don't like to be reached. Those who do reach out generally like to be reached.

Sharing one's favorite, secret spots speaks to a wish to be reached. But for how long, and to what extent? Some doors squeak ajar, only to slam shut.

Blogging is reaching out. Sharing one's hurts and pains is a profound ask to be reached.

Have a happy and safe Christmas and New Year, Mike. You are not alone.

Well Mike, the story, (your writing) is just as wonderful as the photograph which is just lovely on so many levels. Heartache, heartbreak unfortunately are just part of being good human beings. Thanks for the great story and the greater photograph, the mood, the image just takes my mind to another place. That image was my one favorite of the group anyway. Hope your Holiday is a good one.

I really liked that post Mike. Thanks so much for sharing and “filling in the blanks” of the story I’d built from your snippets over the years.

From Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things":

"If we'd thought of it, 'bout the end of it
When we started painting that town
We'd have been aware that our love affair
Was too hot, not to cool down."

This is the one that I really liked. Love it. But somehow, it will feel awkward to me to have this framed and hanging on a wall. Even more now, that I know part of the history behind. Amazing shot.

That's a wonderful picture. The emotion is palpable,the weather conditions perfect. Sometimes we have to remember how lucky we were to have had such a period in our lives. It is probably particularly resonant with me because of my own loss, but I expect most of us can relate.

Thank you for sharing this. It is a great photograph. At once moving and still. Also thanks for being so open. Loss and betrayal are so painful but often the pain is because there was something very rare and precious which is lost.

There is also something very special to me of the figure looking away. Michael Palin of Monty Python fame introduced me to Vilhelm Hammershöj a painter hecloved who seemed to feel this too. In case you are interested.


Have a great Christmas from this side of the pond. And truly thank you for this ( to me ) very special post


HIGH HEELS in the Sand!? You dodged a bullet of insanity and worry with that one! Dogs are much more loyal. Merry Christmas.

[I think you've misinterpreted Bob! In the picture she is barefooted. --Mike]

Undisputedly the best of those four. But, like David Lee, above, "..it will feel awkward to me to have this framed and hanging on a wall".

So I passed it by. But it's now on my screen, and I can glance at it now and again, and show it to anyone who says "no photo is really worthy unless shot with a Leica.." ..what drivel!

Beautiful in every way (including Ctein's tweaks with Topaz software).

It's the p-e-r-f-e-c-t photograph. That's what photography was invented for ..that wonderful shot. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This is a lovely picture. Not a thing out of place. The most striking aspect of the photo, and what makes it for me, is Sara's posture. Her arms stiff at her sides, but her leg caught in a pensive mid-step. You can sense her trepidation before the awesome power of the ocean.

Wow, great story, Mike.

I have a photo above my desk showing some birch trees in front of a lake. Utterly unremarkable, even a bit out of focus.

But that is the spot where, minutes after taking the photo, I asked my now wife to move across the country to be with me. It is my most prized possession.

I liked all four of your selections, but this was the photograph that grabbed me. I had to buy it. The backstory is so much present in the image that a viewer might almost have gotten it from the photograph alone. Thank you for sharing this image and for the story behind it.

That's a lovely photo, Mike, and your story makes it even more poignant. I appreciate your explanation of your time with her and how you've come out the other end, so to speak. You have no duty, of course, to share personal stories like that on the blog but it does help one understand not just this photograph, but various posts of yours over the past couple years.

I read everything you write here. I'm delighted to be able to support you with a patreon and the occasional print purchase. The story of your affair (and that photo) really resonates with me if for no other reason than to remind that we're all just people wandering through the world with a camera in hand, trying to make enough sense of it all to keep going forward. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Mike.

Hmm…. This one didn’t really attract me. Well, the seascape did, but the fact that the figure was facing away decided me against it. The one that spoke to me was Butters; a picture of a relaxed, peaceful domestic scene.

Thanks for sharing that with us Mike. I always wondered how the story ended.

glad I finally get to see S; always wanted to. I was so sad for you when it ended.

Very sweet, nostalgic and sad, but such lovely light and composition, plus no need for fussing over bokeh and other technical distractions. I can understand how the snapshot tugs at those heart strings. Thanks for sharing, and very best for the holidays and New Year, Mike.

You should have lived in the Victorian age with its love of melancholia.

It’s amazing what people read into a photograph. What I see here is a beautiful young woman who had to make (or was party to) a decision with an unhappy outcome and whose interests, character, and relationship have been described only by one person, not herself.

[I can always only describe what a photograph means to me. I can't describe what it means to you. Or to anyone else. That's the way photography is...not only photography, but art. --Mike]

Just a thought...
If your relationship is what landed you in the Finger Lakes region, then you benefitted tremendously from your relationship. No disrespect intended toward Wisconsin.

[Yup. After a year, I decided to just make the best of it and enjoy where I was. I have to say I just love it here--it's my favorite of all the places I've ever lived. (Well, at least for 7 months out of the year!) There's another big plus, which is that I got involved in a 12-step program and went through a lot of personal growth while I've been here. I'm really much happier than I've ever been in my life except for when I was a kid.

It was already okay with me on the whole because I wouldn't have missed the year of my relationship with Sara--it was quite a rich and vivid experience, and I had not enjoyed a romance in years at the time. But I also wouldn't have missed the experience of living here in the Finger Lakes. I know I have to downsize at some point and leave the rural life--at least to somewhere that has emergency services--but I'd love to stay here as long as I can. --Mike]

Beautifully written post. Beautiful photo. Thank you.

All four of the photos are wonderful and each warrants a good long look. This one in particular, and what makes it different from so many others is her posture, more specifically the angle of her leg, which conveys some disquiet and discomfort, maybe in her facing the ocean but also in me, the viewer, facing her. There’s something out of place that gives me pause, even if I don’t know what it is. Perhaps you knew, or do now.

Lovely spot. I know that coastline well.

[I wish I could remember the name of the beach. It was one you couldn't get to directly from the road--we had to walk in. That's why she liked it, because the hike, short as it was, kept the crowds away. I remember it being enough of a drive north of Point Reyes that we had to discuss whether it was worth going to the latter. (Answer: well worth it.) --Mike]

It's a beautiful photograph, Mike, and easy to see why it holds such meaning for you. Sara looks lovely.

You've caught Sara taking a small step forward, which provides an element of dynamism. We can share the feeling she must have felt of the moving water and soft sand underfoot.

Indeed, the dominant theme of the picture, for me, is Sara's sense of adventure. She has moved forward, and is right then finding her limit. She feels at home in that wild and lonely place. Bravo for her.

Mike, it's a beautiful photo, and it clearly has a depth of meaning for you that others wouldn't have known without hearing your perspective. What you've written hits home for me... this was a lamentable year in which my marriage came to an end. But no regrets or bitterness... what good would that do? I do have photos that stir up nostalgia for the good times. I'm thankful for those photos. There may be some melancholy in looking at them and reflecting back on the experience, but like yourself, life was also enriched in some ways by it all.

And lastly... Pt. Reyes has a lot of personal meaning for me. Yet another reason why your photo resonated.

[Sorry to hear about your divorce. Always hard to go through...even when it's for the best. When it isn't it's even harder. --Mike]

Mike, I’ve spent quite a lot of time at Point Reyes. There are several beaches only accessible by trails. Since you said it was a short hike, I’m guessing it was Kehoe Beach, as that’s only a 0.5 mile easy walk across marshes and a few sand dunes.

[You know, I really think that might be it. The distance from Point Reyes is right, the walk-in time is right, and the name seems familiar. You have solved the mystery. --Mike]

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