“Grand Haven Lighthouse”  Photo © R.L. Herron

I photograph this area often. My catalog of pictures of the lighthouse and pier in Grand Haven numbers in the hundreds … and that’s just the good ones I kept.

When I came across this one (I think I may have used it in my blog before) I was struck, not by the nice positioning of the sunset, but by the silhouette of the couple on the beach.

I was, after all, trying to get the sunset shot. My camera was set up on a weighted tripod on the beach, and I was very careful to compose the long line of the pier while I waited for the sun to go down in that precise spot.

It was difficult to do with the lens stopped down for the greatest depth of field. Everything in the viewfinder was dark … except for that bright spot of the sun.

I was busy watching the sunset, waiting for the right moment to depress the cable release I was using to minimize camera-shake, and I didn’t see the couple walking in the dark shadow of the beach.

But the serendipity of that moment was beautiful. That couple, in that exact location, at the very moment I tripped the shutter, was what made the picture for me.

I find writing a lot like that, too. I try to remember all the things I mention on my writing web site: let the characters explain the scene; make them believable, even in unbelievable situations and let the story create something entertaining.

I don’t write the way the teachers tried to pound into my head through high school, college and graduate school. There’s no outline. At most, I have a few lines of notes; a phrase that keeps bubbling up in my mind; a “what-if” thought; the memory of a delightful conversational moment I happened to overhear.

I start writing and let the story tell me what it what it wants to say. My characters drive the tale, and the serendipity of that; the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for … is always a delight.


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5 Responses to “Serendipity”

  1. Ron Herron Says:

    jfc: Thanks. Sometimes it’s hard to tell myself which I love more … photography or writing. So, I try to do both. 😉


  2. jumpingfromcliffs Says:

    Loving the photos and the writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ron Herron Says:

    It must be working … “Reichold Street” was just selected as a Readers Favorite Gold Medal Winner!


  4. Ron Herron Says:

    LOL! Fits my photo, or my writing style? 😉 Thanks, Tim!


  5. T. W. Dittmer Says:

    Great shot. The explanation of your writing process that follows fits it just about right.


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