Sailboat and Lighthouse, February 3, 2016, 7:14 a.m., Saint Augustine Harbor

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I am a break-of-day photographer who lives at the edge of land in St. Augustine, Florida. Since moving here, I have become drawn to moored sailboats in our small harbors that open into the vastness of the Atlantic. My attraction is related to a notion I have of man’s boundless curiosity that has historically driven him to undertake dangerous, far-ranging seagoing adventures.

The best time to capture this mood with my camera, I have learned, is during the brief period before and after the sun rises on days of partly clear skies and gentle winds. The sun’s light is not blindingly bright then, and its position is low, horizontal to objects on the water and beneath the clouds, resulting in deepened colors, highlighted shadows, long reflections in still waters, and, when I am lucky, an arresting photo.

Pre-Dawn Thoughts of My Father at the Saint Augustine Lighthouse

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Here, at the lighthouse pier, my rod rests on the railing and for a moment my line slices open the moving water below. It is early morning, not far past six, still too soon see the sun, but the dock to my north is now visible in the charcoal light, and the lighthouse now reveals its stripes.

In the summer of 1962, my father imagined aloud this life I now live, next to this very lighthouse and not far from our ‘57 Chevy with New York plates, though too far from ever reaching his own retirement.

I often say these days that I am living my father’s dream, though right at this moment I cannot help but wonder whether I am dreaming of my father, or for him, or (could it be?) my father is dreaming of me.