Cast Off

Here on the border of day and night things grow fuzzy, less defined, quiet. Colors shift quickly and dramatically and everything around becomes less of a landscape and more of a sketch of what was a few moments before. I love this time of night but it certainly can be tricky to capture depending on the circumstances. In this case these children were out fishing at the end of a hot day in Bali and YoungDoo and I were out photographing the last sunset we would have to enjoy on the island. A perfect recipe for a few nice silhouettes. They all but ignored us and we tinkered with out cameras and enjoyed the view.

While this shot ended up a bit hazy and out of focus I still love it for the movement captured. As soon as the one child leaned back to point at the other side of the pier I knew I had the shot I was waiting for, where the three of them were well defined against the dim light of the coming night so one click was all I had. Still though, despite its technical shortcomings, I knew I had a nice shot because I had finally caught the scene in the way I envisioned it in my mind. Which leaves us with the question, does a photograph need to be technically perfect to be an effective image? This is entirely subjective to the person who created the image.

If your image is able to achieve a successful emotional connection with the viewer then you have done your job. Sometimes this means ignoring the nagging voice in the back of your mind that this exposure may end up a bit dark, blurry, etc. Every aspect involving the art of photography, even intentionally fudging the technical details here and there, is fair game. A technically perfect image is a wonderful thing and is worthy of being proud of, but one which is able to transfer an emotional value can be infinitely more satisfying.

Not only this but it is much easier to discover your voice as a photographer if you let yourself make mistakes. One of the most influential things that guided my style over the years has been the images I really wanted to love but didn’t work out because of a shortcoming in my approach leaving me to refine the idea and try again. At any rate, I hope you enjoy the new desktop. I will do my best to start pushing them out faster.


  1. Tim Sondrup - May 3, 2012 at 5:15 am

    One of my favorites of yours! So great!

  2. Rupert Maspero - May 3, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Such a great shot. You are so right, a shot doesn’t need to be technically perfect for it to be an amazing photo. I love that you can tell the three depths that the children are at down the pier. I am not sure it is too dark as even the bottom left hand corner (darkest part of the image) has a hint of blue in it.

  3. Gilang - May 3, 2012 at 10:06 am

    If you question whether this shot gives off satisfying, emotional value, the answer is ‘yes’. I love it.

  4. Laurie - May 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    For me, it’s all about the symmetry. I’m drawn to the idea that the pier could go off endlessly into the distance. I’d like to spend some time on that pier.

  5. Carlos Cabezas - May 7, 2012 at 4:27 am

    great picture like always,…

  6. Giatuareg - July 25, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Very very nice photo!!
    Is it possible to have a retina ipad version of this? I love it.

  7. Weekly Wallpaper: 50 Foot Shadows | Lifehacker Australia - September 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    […] Download this wallpaper [50 Foot Shadows 2560×1600] […]

  8. 참새 - October 15, 2012 at 4:20 am

    사진 너무 좋습니다. 영어해독력이 약해서 이 사진들의 저작권이 크리에이티브 커먼즈 같은것으로 되어있는지 궁금합니다. 낚시게임의 커뮤니티에 배너로 사용해도 괜찮은지 여쭈어봅니다. 정말 이것뿐만 아니라 대부분이 멋집니다.

  9. Tim Ellington - December 12, 2018 at 6:47 am

    Tim [Ellington]

    I would really like a high quality print of this Bali ‘Cast Off’ 2012 photo.
    Yes, I have read your info about prints and so on and that they are limited etc.
    If you can sort it for me, I would be ever so grateful …but size and so on and also post it has to go to UK London, before Xmas.

    Best size you can make with the printer? (yes I read, I’m not a Donald lol) it doesn’t matter much, whatever you think is best.

    If you get back to me, we sort out price & posting and so on

    Yours etc
    Tim [Copenhagen Dk]

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