Dry Creek Hill

Sunday Photos: Kayaks Along The Guadalupe

I was taken with this scene while walking along the Guadalupe River. In contrast to photos I like for awhile and then forget about, this one has become one of my favorites. I’ve been studying it, trying to understand what about the shot draws me in. I like the colors but it takes more than colors in a photo to keep my attention.

Kayaks stored on racks
Kayaks stored in racks along the Guadalupe River

The closest I can come (as of now) is to say that I’m drawn to photos of before or after the action more than to photos of the action. There’s an open question in these photos. It may be peaceful or it may be intriguing. It may be both. But there’s uncertainty about what’s to come or what went before. Those questions and feelings interest me. My mind is free to wander when I look at those photos.

I took the above photo in May. In early August I was walking along the same stretch of the river and discovered the scene below. It’s nice to know the kayaks aren’t just for show. There also has been activity up in the seating area. A blue chair has been replaced with a red chair. Grass has covered the path behind the chairs. The hose that snakes down the hill to the kayak rack doesn’t seem to have moved, although it’s harder to see in this shot.

Kayaks have been taken off the racks and put in the river
Kayaks ready for a pleasant morning on the Guadalupe River

I don’t know the details of what happened between the first and second photos, but I know what happened after the second photo. As I was returning on my walk a family came down the steps and boarded the kayaks. (Do you board a kayak or just get in?) They paddled away for an August morning of fun on the river.

I couldn’t help thinking about the Water Rat from The Wind In The Willows as I watched them paddle away. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing–absolutely nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

Photograph something you love in a way that gives you joy, or challenges you, or wakes you up to how amazing life can be, because if you don’t feel it, not only will no one else feel it, but what’s the point? — From The Contact Sheet, October 18, 2020 by David duChemin. Subscribe at MyContactSheet.com. I highly recommend it.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Photos: Kayaks Along The Guadalupe

  1. shoreacres

    I couldn’t help wondering if the next time you pass by, there will be a yellow chair to match the yellow kayak, as the burgundy chair and kayak match now. Then an orange one should appear.

    It’s interesting to me that I find the first photo so much more pleasing than the second. I finally decided it’s the upturned kayaks. It’s not just their colors, it’s the way they extend or emphasize the vertical lines of the steps, the path, the rock edging, and the wall.

    It’s interesting, too, that the blue, yellow, and orange in the first photo are variants of the primary colors red, yellow, and blue. I wonder if that contributes to the liveliness I feel.

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      I think the composition of the first photo is much better, too. The subject matter is more diluted and spread across the shot in the second, but it is more focused in the first. That goes for the colors and shapes as art forms as well as the objects as definable subjects. The second photo makes a nice follow-up to a story but it doesn’t have the same impact as a photo, at least for me.

      I’ll watch for more color evolution as the months pass. I feel the same sense of life, of “something is going to happen,” and I agree it is related to the primary colors and their juxtaposition against the more serene greens and grays. I wonder if the kayak manufacturers are intentionally trying to send a “this is fun and exciting” message by producing the boats in those colors?

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