LOXAHATCHEE RIVER 10 © 1992Jonathan Dickinson State Park
The Loxahatchee River is one of two designated wild and scenic rivers in Florida. The South Florida Water Management District asked me to photograph this river in order to make a poster for their tenth anniversary of the “Save our Rivers” campaign. I told them I would be glad to try, but the outcome would all depend on how mother nature behaved. Fortunately, they gave me three years to do the project. I visited the river several times each year. I would take a few pictures but not many would come out the way I visualized the river. It wasn’t until 1990 that I was given the gift of one perfect day. The problem with photographing under the canopy of trees is that the sunlight can create hot spots on the film causing the final image to look splotchy. On my perfect day, a tropical depression moved in giving me overcast conditions for even lighting. The overcast lighting also made the canopy very dark which meant I needed to take long exposures. Since there was no wind I was able to accomplish the long exposures with very little problem. I began my photographic journey down the river in my canoe. After the first couple of shots, I decided not to get back into the canoe but to float down the river instead while pulling the canoe behind me. It seemed every corner I turned was a new and beautiful scene. This was truly a perfect day that I will never forget. This particular area along the river is unique because it shows how clear the water is. The apparent look of the water is dark because of the tannic acid from decomposing plant life. However, the water is shallow enough in this one location for me to be able to showcase the clearness of the water. Loxahatchee River 10 was taken with a 5×7″ camera on T-Max 100 film. This photograph was taken in 1990 but the first time it was printed was in 1992 for my exhibit at the Loxahatchee River Historical Museum in Jupiter, Florida. This photograph is hand-printed in my darkroom on fiber-based paper, selenium toned, then mounted and matted to current archival standards. The photograph is printed in a limited edition and signed. Camera settings: f/45 | 75mm lens | 6 minutes | no filter Disclaimer – Cropping, contrast, and image density may vary. To learn more about the darkroom printing process, click here.