The Minnow

All of the images in this series were taken on August 31st, 2017 on Nauset Beach, Cape Cod between 11:18 am and 1:33 pm. The last image I made that day was of a dead minnow that had for a moment washed ashore in the surf. I remember I almost didn't notice it, having been mesmerized by the growing swell for the past couple of hours. The light was now directly overhead, the sea breeze was picking up, I looked down at the minnow, snapped a couple frames before the next wave carried it away and walked back up the beach thinking I maybe had a couple nice wave images from the shoot, but nothing special. 

A year later, sorting through an old hard drive of images, I almost didn't notice it again but something about the minnow image held my attention - the eye of the small fish gazing up through the lens of the camera and the idea that I so easily could have never seen it there. If I had been a couple steps down the beach, or standing in the exact same spot a few seconds later, or one of the other seemingly infinite scenarios that would have led to the missed encounter. I started to think about what else I could have missed. As I began to look closer at the rest of the images from that day, the minnow became an important theme. A theme of fragility, chance, life, death, and time. Looking through these lenses, the photos from a typically cliche summer beach day on the cape began to stand out to me.  

Ultimately this is a series of overlooked images that have developed in meaning over time. Looking back I realize that on that day in August there was quite a bit that I did miss. I only saw the waves at first, and now when I look back I see the people. I think in a way, we are the minnow - small and perhaps unnoticeable in the grand sweep of time, yet have the power to impact those who stop to take a closer look.  

Editing and presentation: I first applied edits to the minnow image in Lightroom. I then copied these edits and applied them to every other image in the series regardless of exposure. All of the images have the exact same edits made to them and no cropping out of camera apart from minor adjustments to horizon lines. 

The Minnow series is dedicated to the life of my good friend Josh Gross, who continues to impact my approach on living.