Okay, the dock in the above image is not anonymous and actually does have a name like any other dock. Unless you happen to live on Bainbridge Island, however, I don’t think “Point White Dock” would mean very much to you.
In my book, if you love being near the ocean, a lake, or some other body of water, then you’ve got to love docks too. Docks have so many uses. For example, kids jump from them into the water to beat the heat; fishermen cast out from them hoping for a catch-of-the-day, and contemplative types seek them out as a haven for privacy and reflection.
Docks are also very photogenic. If docks could talk, they’d say, “Please take my picture.” As any decent photographer knows, you want to shoot an image that first gets the viewer’s attention and then draws them into the scene. Docks are exceedingly cooperative in this regard, as their long converging lines, which can be enhanced and made even longer with help from a wide-angle lens, instantly entice the viewer to take a closer look. From there, the overall success of the image will depend on its composition and mood, as well as the technical skill of the picture-taker.
Long exposures can definitely affect the look of a given image. To make the water appear smooth in the above image, I used a neutral density filter on my camera lens to block out light so my shutter could remain open longer. Another by-product of the long exposure was the blurring of the clouds. By softening the water and the sky, the sharpness, detail and converging lines of the dock really stand out. My main lament about this image, however, is that I couldn’t coax the resting sea gull at the far end of the dock (right side) to pose any closer to my camera.
If you enjoy black and white photography, please visit the gallery in my online store – or stop by my gallery on Bainbridge Island where I offer a wide variety of black and white images in different formats, including framed, matted, and fine art acrylic prints.
Ciao for now!
Andrew (“Andy”) Bergh