Moncton Sunsets

2013 - 2016   |   Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
The Sky Is My Canvas

This series arose from my Introduction to Photography course. It began as a field trip to introduce the students to low-light and long-exposure photography before quickly developing into a personal project of my own.

Why would I continue to return to the same location intent on capturing very similar shots? While the backdrop of the Moncton skyline and Petitcodiac River remains constant, the light, colours, and textures do not. They change from week-to-week, day-to-day, and even minute-to-minute. Bright daylight becomes awash in gold; bland, grey clouds burst with orange and red; pale azure skies deepen into rich hues of navy and violet. No two sunsets are ever the same, and even one sunset can transform itself several times before the light disappears from the sky.

This type of project teaches vision and patience. Photographers sometimes approach a scene looking for a certain type of shot, only to be disappointed when it fails to meet expectations. Not finding what we hoped for, we put our cameras away and leave, often without taking a single shot. While some creatives can find an image anywhere others, myself included, have to train ourselves to look for photographs where we might otherwise find none. Knowing the weather and the light are extremely fickle and uncooperative forces me to approach each sunset as an unknown, and to look for images even when I feel there might be none. It teaches me to wait, to let the scene unfold, and to not make assumptions about how it will look after five, ten, or thirty minutes. Bland skies can become awash in myriad colours; the colours will change as the sun approaches and then disappears behind the horizon; and the clouds, when present, will slowly move, altering compositions and dispersing colours as they do so. We never know in advance, and we can never be certain, whether or not the next few minutes will produce more and better shots. But we must have the patience to wait, and the resolve to stay, even if we think we'll be disappointed.

This series also highlights my desire to return to a subject multiple times, to capture it in different light and weather, and to demonstrate how a subject or scene can become fluid and evolve over time. This desire can also be seen in the following photographic series: Lonely Sea - Evolve; Lonely Sea - Merge; and my various work along the Tantramar Marshes.

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