Irrational Fear of Confined Spaces

February 8, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | Comment |

I pulled off the highway in a little town near the lake and tried to get a room for the night, but the only hotel was fully booked.So, I had to sleep in the car with my gear through the night. Before dawn, I pulled into the parking lot at the lake and waited for the black to give way to blue and headed out on foot. This was the moment I had been waiting for and I had the entire place to myself! I felt a little like Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky when he woke up to a deserted Times Square. The lake is visited by thousands of tourists each week, so to have this gem to myself felt incredible and strange.

I started my session near the canoe storage sheds and on the docks leading to the water's edge and made a complete semi circle around the mouth of the lake to the other side before doubling back. The morning was crisp, the sky spotless and the lake perfectly still. It was breathtaking (or in my case I'd have to say breath-giving). I spent some of the morning photographing the mountains, trees, sky and the hypnotic reflections, but had to point my camera down to the water itself for the majority of my time there. The color and stillness of the water was just too powerful to stray from.

Irrational Fear of Confined Spaces

Irrational Fear of Confined Spaces

I started to notice this amazing relationship the water had with the wood and stones near it's edge. It became very spiritual discovering sunken rocks and layers of water logged trees sleeping just under this amazing aqua blanket. I envisioned the water as a portal where everything below it had settled into a hibernation and everything that sat above was full of life and breaking through to the side of the living. The dock itself floating on top, whispered of man's presence amongst this natural wonder. The eventuality of a tree?s life came to mind, traveling from seed to shrub to tower to harvested lumber and finally to nailed down 2x4, in this case. Everything that morning seemed to speak to me. Eventually dawn turned to day and the tourists began to arrive gently jostling me back to reality. I had a magical time all alone with Louise that morning and I now welcome her into the chaos of my home life via the "Irrational Fear Of Confined Spaces" series. I hope she breathes some fresh air into your world as well.

Irrational Fear of Confined Spaces


Melissa Mercier is a fine art photographer based in Vancouver, Canada.  After a move from her native Quebec to Toronto, Melissa then studied photography at Vancouver's Langara College and worked under renowned commercial photographer Anthony Redpath. Often contrasting organic and inanimate subjects, she challenges the viewer to find beauty in the seemingly ordinary and to look deeper into their surrounding world.


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