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An extra burst of inspiration

I was on assignment one morning at a beach, to take an end-of-summer photo. I had another assignment in the city later that morning. I kept shooting, but I wasn't getting what I wanted. "If it takes me an hour to get back in town," I calculated, "and I'm 30 minutes from my car, I have 5 minutes left...." My self-imposed time limit expired, but I still wasn't satisfied. "This picture is boring," I'd think. Or, "I've taken this same picture before." Then, glancing at my watch, I began jogging along the beach with my gear, occasionally stopping to click the shutter. I photographed a couple walking by the surf, then approached them to get their names. Later, I wondered what they'd thought of a guy dressed for the office, sweat beading on his brow, saying he was a newspaper photographer.

Then, crouching low amid the many-fingered rivulets of the retreating ocean, I snapped the shot that fulfilled my assignment. And there was a bonus: My route back to the car took me past this tidal pool, which I worked for a few frames before finally heading back to the loud, grimy city.

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An occasional feature. Mr. Nordell joined the Monitor staff in 1997.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor