Artwork #116


by Mary Day Long, Council District 1

Archival digital print, 2019,

Courtesy of the Artist

I’m working on a series of monochrome infrared photos of the Central Texas area, and New Braunfels seemed like a place to get some good shots. Infrared capture can be especially dramatic when you combine moving water with green vegetation, so, one fine sunny day, I headed for Landa Park. Wandering along the Comal River, I found a spot where several ducks and beautifully streaming river weeds all lined up for me, and I prepared to shoot away.

Just then, a little boy stepped into the frame, leaning over to look at the ducks. His father saw what was going on and tried to shoo him away.

“No! No—he’s perfect!” I told the concerned dad.

There are times when an unwitting bystander steps in and ruins a perfectly-composed shot. When that happens, I always try to be patient, waiting out the intrusion until I can get the photo I had in mind. There are also times when that spontaneous human element can actually MAKE the shot. My goal is to be open-minded enough to know the difference.