Can a Desert Dreamer Capture the Soul of the Sea?

The calm waters of Morro Bay cradle a fleet of sailboats under a dramatic sunset sky, where rays of light break through the clouds, highlighting the serene and picturesque maritime scene.

The Story Behind "Morro Sunrise"

My name is Jamie, and I am a passionate nature & landscape photographer from Las Vegas, Nevada. I have been creating art from my photos for almost 20 years, first underwater, now on dry land.

My Mom was from New England and grew up near the water on boats around Cape Cod. Her love of this lifestyle was instilled in me. She moved us to Las Vegas when I was a young child. Regardless of how far from the water we ended up living, I inherited her love of the ocean. Whenever we would go to seafood restaurants, I would study the photographs on the walls of the old fishing boats and marinas.

I dreamed of visiting places like these and photographing my own version to hang on my wall and share with the world. Living in the hot, dry desert, far away from the sea, made experiencing these days and opportunities to photograph these moments rather tricky.
Although I now had the means to travel to the coast and the ability to take photos, I ultimately had yet to learn how to capture images like those I remembered from my childhood. I also needed to find out precisely where these beautiful scenes existed. I knew that I needed to find a way to create the kind of art that sparked the love for the ocean that it did for me many years ago. I knew deep in my heart that with enough diligence and patience, I would be able to find and re-create my version of this perfect scene.

I visited the ocean several times for years, searching for the perfect scene. None had the right kind of boats I was looking for. Any time I was near the ocean, I showed up, camera in hand, ready to photograph the boats, docks, harbors, and anything within.
I loved seeing the beautiful blue water and hearing the creek of the wood under my feet as I stood on the pier. The odor of the day's catch filled my nostrils, and I could taste the sweet, salty air. My camera felt heavy in my hands, and each time I arrived at a new location, I was ready!

I visited many beautiful locations. After many attempts at locating my dream fishing boats, I realized I was on the wrong side of the country for the scene I desired to capture. It would be nearly impossible to travel to the East Coast and search for fishing harbors when I lived three thousand miles away in Nevada.
It wasn't long after this realization, during some soul searching and a little bit of planning, that I realized what I yearned to accomplish was photographing life near the sea. I didn't need a specific kind of boat or harbor. I decided to create my own version of the scene and looked for new and interesting ways to portray the image I saw in my mind.
I set out to create a photograph that portrayed the sea's calm effect on my soul. Regardless of the busy harbors with numerous people, this can be experienced anywhere when the timing is right.
The location of this photograph is a bustling tourist destination at the peak of the day. However, one can find it nearly deserted on a visit this early in the morning. One morning in Morro Bay, California, just after dawn, I found several rows of sailboats with glorious golden hour light shining upon them. I was standing at the end of a pier, so I didn't have much room to move in search for the perfect angle, but I didn't need to. I was already looking at the perfect scene.
This transformational experience has taught me to keep an open mind and look for beauty everywhere. Also to consider more than what I initially set out to focus on. I now understand it is possible to be fulfilled and create beautiful works of art even if the destination wasn't what was initially planned. But most importantly, a beautiful piece of art has been created to show the world the beauty and serenity of the sea.

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