Excerpt from Coastal Waters

Artist Statement It was late autumn, 1998, when my son, David, and I loaded Bland Simpson’s well traveled Jon boat with camera gear and headed north up the thoroughfare towards Rumley’s Hammock in the heart of the Cedar Island Wildlife Refuge. Fall is my favorite time of year on the marsh - the grasses are just beginning to loose their green, the winds shift north clearing the summer haze and the sun moves lower in the sky, lengthening the late afternoon shadows. We had been on the water about an hour when my son, then leaning over the precipice of his teenage years, asked me a question I’ll never forget. “Dad, why does a guy from Cleveland, Ohio want to spend so much time in a place like this?” I knew that no matter what I said, it could be years before he might understand, if at all. But I also knew that he would come to appreciate these afternoons - perhaps much later. As we approached the hammock I noticed that spectacular mare’s tale clouds were forming in the sky over Core Sound. I scanned the horizon for the spot -- the perfect foreground to complete my composition. A patch of marsh along the shore looked promising. Quickly anchoring the boat, I jumped out in knee deep tannic water, grabbed my favorite camera and headed toward the marsh. Distant marsh grass began to glow. My pulse quickened. The image began to take shape. I envisioned the camera angle as I plodded into the marsh. One shot here, perhaps another angle over there, then kneeling into the pungent marsh for one last exposure, or maybe two. I headed for the boat, pausing to rinse the thick black marsh mud off my legs. The anticipation of that night’s darkroom work was already building. When I travel the coastal waters of North Carolina I see a world of images. I see changes – tidal and seasonal, natural and man made, begging to be captured on film. I feel the salt on my face and my camera lens as I wade through the rich coastal waters. My desire is to offer this experience to others through my images. I want them to feel the salt on their sun-tightened cheeks, smell the rich aroma of the intertidal zone, and feel their pulse quicken at the sound of dolphins breaching near shore.

Scott Taylor, 7/14/00

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