17/52 On Purgatory

Today I finally fulfilled a photography “bucket list” of sorts.  I photographed the Polar Bear’s New Year’s Day Plunge at Newport Beach.  I used my digital camera and in 45 minutes I shot 130 images.  Some of them were great and I had a wonderful time watching all the people enjoy the frigid dunk for a good cause, supporting children with cancer.  I then switched to film.  In 2 hours I shot 24 images.  It could be said this is from “slowing down” for film.  That was partly true, but I struggled to find images to record.  My mind was not in it I guess.  It was a day bereft of clouds and since the plunge took place in the balmy light of noon I had bad light.  But one must make the best of the light lot.  I drove to nearby Purgatory Chasm.  It is a split between the beautiful amalgated cliffs that overlook Second Beach in Middletown, Rhode Island.  The Atlantic sneaks off into the chasm for a rest.  I did walk to the edge thinking to make a photograph, but there was not a safe way to do it.  I am terrified of heights and it’s a long way to the bottom.  So I walked to the other edges of the tall cliffs and in the face of fear did with what the light offered.  There were no clouds at all and I had a wide lens mounted.  I struggled to make images, but got a few I would call decent.  It would be a good place to shoot from in bad weather but I fear the slippery rocks would make it too perilous.  I am resolved to go back again with some color film when there are fluffed clouds.    I am off to New York City for the week and look forward to street photography and night shots from the rooftop of my building.  Until then, happy trails to all.

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