Friday, March 09, 2007

What is a view worth?

The simple answer is that it depends. This picture was taken from in front of an Oasis beach condo/town home in Atlantic Beach, NC. If you want to walk out the door of your own home and see this particular view, then it will cost around $750K to make ones of these homes yours.

Actually when it comes to being on the beach these days, that price is a bargain. Get in touch with me if you want to explore that thought a little more. Still if you just want to visit and rent a piece of paradise, the prices are much lower. Of course none of us really own a view.

A view is more than just the land. It is the light, the sky, the water, and the interaction between all of the elements. There's actually a public access parking area just behind the spot where I took this picture so timing is also important. You likely wouldn't find this same view during the fourth of July week. This picture was taken on a cool March 8, 2007. Actually it might be a long time before you could get this exact view again.

Still this was a particularly nice view with a 4WD truck headed down a mostly deserted beach with very nice light. I especially like the softness of the sand, shadows, sky, and water. It makes for a calming view or actually a very inexpensive digital image that I can enjoy for a long time.

I took the picture with my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 camera. It does a really nice job taking pictures with a true 16:9 aspect ratio. A good example is this sunrise over the White Oak River.

Getting that view required rolling out of bed very early and standing, almost shivering, in the early morning air at the Centennial Park in Swansboro, NC. In my old neighborhood in Roanoke, Virginia, most of my neighbors know that they might catch me out on the deck early in the morning snapping pictures of the sun rising over the Blue Ridge Mountains. I have taken thousands of pictures of the sun bathing downtown Roanoke in early morning light.

It takes some dedication to take pictures of sunrises. Anyone can take pictures of sunsets.

Of course anyone who gets up early and has a digital camera can take pictures of sunrises. They might not have as a good a location as we do in Roanoke, VA, but in theory they could find a spot. Still snapping pictures with a digital camera is not like the work of an artist who might paint something that they see only in their mind's eye.

I recently got the chance to meet Mary Warshaw, an artist living in Beaufort, NC. Mary also does a blog on Beaufort. As an artist she can do much more to create an image than I can even with all the tools in a fancy digital camera.

Having taken several rides on the Mystery tour boat which cruises Beaufort inlet and Taylor's Creek, I can almost imagine Mary's beautiful print, "I’m Home—Beaufort Waterfront and the Meka II."

The Beaufort waterfront, fortunately for those of us who missed the days of sailing ships hasn't really changed a lot. Through Mary's imagination and skill, we can see what Beaufort looked like long ago as the ships came home from the sea.

While the home with the view of the beach goes for only $750K and is a deal when compared to other homes with a similar beach view, Mary's prints are even more reasonable with prices as low as $45.

You can even enjoy them far away from the coast. I have one being framed now to hang on the wall in our mountain home in Roanoke.

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