web pier sunset 002

What makes a person do the things that they do? What are they thinking or trying to accomplish when they take an action and set out to fulfill a goal. What drives a person to ‘get out there.’

In the world of photography, an individuals motivation may be simple or very complex. If the photos to be created are for a client, that’s a completely different motivation. If, however, the images to be captured are for the use of the photographer, what makes them take the necessary steps to actually go and do it. After all, it does take some ‘work’. Work is a strong word. Perhaps preparation is a better description of what is needed in advance of a photographic venture.

Personally, for my own photographic work, my motivation is quite simple; I want to try to create pleasing images that will transport the viewer to the location and, hopefully, they will imagine themselves in the scene and feel what I felt when the image was created. Of course, no one can control what another person will find pleasing or what emotion, if any, they’ll have when they view an image. Still, that’s my hope for my work. I don’t usually have any particular ‘message’ or hidden meaning that I’m trying to present to the viewer.

In Louisiana (at least South Eastern Louisiana), we don’t have any towering mountain ranges or deep lush valleys to provide us with powerful subjects to make images of. We just don’t. What we do have is no less interesting or unique however. In this image we see a pier leading out into the lake. I imagine that this pier was built for fishing and a place to dock a boat. As I stood with my camera waiting for the sun to get in the best position, I couldn’t help but think about the people that built this pier. It was probably built after Hurricane Katrina as most of these piers were destroyed by that storm. I wondered just how long it took to complete the pier, what skills a person would need to have to build such a thing to withstand the elements for years to come. I imagined excited children running the length of the pier towards an anticipated boat ride or fishing trip. I wondered if, perhaps, the pier was built for an older couple as a place for them to sit together and watch the sunset. If you look closely, you’ll notice a couple of crab traps hanging off of the pier. Those reminded me of my daughter as she loves to go crabbing.

While there are no people in this photograph, it is all about people!

Boating, fishing and other water activities are woven deeply into the fabric that is the South Eastern Louisiana culture. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of similar piers jutting out into waterways all over in this area. This image is uniquely Louisiana. I hope when you see it, you can imagine yourself there, wind and saltwater spray splashing up and wetting your face as you wait to get a bite on your fishing line. Or perhaps, you’ll imagine yourself with a loved one sitting and talking quietly as you wait to watch one of the best shows we have on earth…… A Louisiana sunset!

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