Reflections and shadows of Man’s creations encroach on a still life of a rock, vegetation and branches in the calm waters of the James River.

I was back to photograph at the James River a few weeks ago and discovered that progress is beginning to intrude upon nature at one of my favorite photographic locations. There is a great deal of construction going on near the site where the above image was taken. The parking lot where I would normally park my car was closed due to construction activities that are tearing down an old building in order to create a new one. The route I would take to hike the spot from which I like to take photographs was also affected and I had to spend some time working out how to get there.

All this is to suggest that I might have been in a certain frame of mind when taking the above image that day. I have titled this image “Encroachment” as I see the somewhat chaotic shadows and reflections at the top of the image as encroaching on the placid and serene scene of the rock with grasses and two logs lying on top. My intention for that morning’s excursion was to photograph the sunrise, but low clouds had come in and taken all the color from the sky, leaving me in a bit of a grumpy mood after the shock of seeing all the construction intruding on my plans. However, I made it a point to not leave the location until I had either filled a card with images, or consumed all the power in my camera’s battery, whichever came first. (Turns out the battery went first.) Many of the hundreds of images I captured that morning were simply testing some specific technique with a certain lens or to see if the tripod I was using was sturdy enough for long exposures with my longer lenses. However, “Encroachment” was shot with the purpose of illustrating the meaning I mentioned earlier. It wasn’t until later that I associated the meaning I meant to capture with the construction I had earlier encountered and realized the subconscious effect that must have had on me that morning.

“Encroachment” was taken with a Fuji GFX 50s and Fuji GF 250mm lens with 1.4x teleconverter. The exposure was 10 seconds at f/11, ISO 100. A 6-stop neutral density filter was used.

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