The sun struggles through.
Boats slide down the bay, vanish.
Eight oars pull as one.
In the spring of 2002 my wife’s rowing club competed in the San Diego Crew Classic in Mission Bay, San Diego. We planned to make a trip of it, visiting the famous Zoo and other attractions after the regatta was over. This was in the time of rapid improvements in digital cameras, but before everyone had a high-quality camera on their cellphone. I’d arrived without a camera, and on a whim we stopped at Target and I picked up a midrange Canon point-and-shoot.
We arrived at the regatta, where my wife, captain of the women’s competitive crew, would be busy all day. I snapped some shots of the crew and the boats with the new camera, then took off in our rental car to explore San Diego. I’d been around enough regattas to know that rowing is not really a spectator sport. I found my way to the top of Mount Soledad and then down to La Jolla Beach, before returning to meet and the rowers in the evening.
Back home in Austin, I downloaded the photos to my computer and started looking at them, loading them up in The GIMP, the free alternative to Photoshop, where I started to discover the possibilities of digital filtering. Most of the photos were what you’d expect, touristy snapshots good for memories but not much else. A few became something more.