At The Capital we call it “wild art.” At my first paper we called it “weather art.” Or sometimes “kidsanddogs,” one word. The classy papers call it “enterprise art.”
It’s the constant of being a daily newspaper photojournalist. On the days when there is nothing happening — no protests, no big games, no meetings, no shows — all we have is a stretch of finite hours and a hole on the front page.
And then the hunt starts. I start driving, looking for anything to make a compelling photo. Construction workers, kids at a playground, joggers, anything. Most days around Annapolis, it’s not that hard.
But what do I shoot on March 1, the first meteorological day of spring? It’s cold. No one is out doing anything.
The boat dock at Quiet Waters Park seemed like a good idea. Maybe I'd catch some brave boaters. But this day there was no one. No one but the birds.
A large rack of colorful kayaks, locked down for the winter, was reflected in the still water of Spa Creek. And the birds were floating through the reflection.
I maneuvered myself to the perfect position and waited. The ideal shot I wanted would have been a gull actually taking off from the water in the reflection. This gull glided serenely into the viewfinder, and I made the capture.
I walked back to my car, relieved and satisfied. I had a great photo for the paper. I'd have to start the whole thing over in the morning, but that would be tomorrow.