I was working my way down the canal paths on my Salsa Fargo the other day in the small town of Bedforshire, when I stopped to watch the rowers coming down the river. There was a chill in the air as I stood by the water and took a couple of pictures of the tandems (or whatever rowers call them). While the images were ok, none seemed to capture the mood I was feeling. I think often about this when photographing, because for me photography is such an emotional outlet. I often find that I am trying to balance what I see with my eye with what I feel in my heart and soul.
On this evening the crisp images of rowers was just not cutting it. Then, in the distance, I saw a single rower working his way down the river. I knew instantly that I somehow wanted drama from an image where none existed. I knew that I saw this as an abstract scene and that drama could be induced by slowing down the rower into a blur. I dragged my shutter and slowly panned the camera as he went by, all the while trying to steady my arms so the blur came out somewhat clean and crisp.
I reviewed the images and knew that I had gotten what I wanted. For me, I see many things in this image. I see colors and I see solidarity. I see hard work and independence. I see the juxtaposition of fierce independence and a sense loneliness felt by all solo travelers. As someone who has traveled long and far by myself, I felt a strong sense of connectedness with this one lone rower.
It was late in the evening and perhaps most of all I saw dedication, perseverance and commitment to a goal -- all traits that I greatly admire. As I move forward with my life, I still try and apply these principals to whatever I am attempting to achieve. It does not matter that I may only be riding a bicycle or paddling a kayak or simply taking a photograph, these are all traits that can help move us down the path we follow each and every day.