In July, I did a thing. After several years of thinking about it, I bought myself a kayak.
The challenge in making the decision was that I knew it had to be a kayak I could handle by myself. That is, if taking out the kayak meant I had to have help loading, unloading, etc., it would rarely happen. I’m the kind of person who picks up and goes when I find a little time to do so. Happily, my local outfitter had the answer!
So… July 17 I took my new kayak to Black Bayou Lake NWR for our first “photo paddle.” That, after all, was what I had in mind: Being able to get on the water fairly quickly, easily by myself so that I could make those photos that cannot be made on foot.
I did not take my good camera. I took an inexpensive, waterproof-to-30 feet point-and-shoot sport camera. Learning to maneuver the kayak with my good camera on board somehow did not seem wise.
And it was harder than I expected! Kayaks are never still. The slightest breeze, the slightest water movement… the slightest occupant movement, and of course the kayak moves, too. Thus getting the kayak into position for the shot you want doesn’t work because it isn’t going to stay there long enough for you to put down the paddle and pick up the camera! You have to plot your trajectory and, quite literally, do “drive by” or more accurately “float by” shooting.
But I got the hang of it enough in that first couple of hours on the water to come away with something I’m willing to share. I like everything about this close-up of the ever lovely American lotus (Nelumbo lutea), including the reflection of it in the dark water of the lake, the texture of the petals, and the water droplets on those perfectly hydrophobic leaves.
And I did not drop my camera in the water or end up myself in the water or anything like that! I have since made many photo-paddles, including with my good camera. You will see more….