After almost two decades in my career as a photographer, my mind has been fundamentally broken in a way that only allows me to see things in photographic terms. A quick example: I see the world in a frame whether or not I’m looking through a camera. Everything I see is just a moving composition. Usually my right-brained existence causes issues when trying to negotiate the left-brained world, but a strange thing happened on the waters off Captiva. I came to find that there are a great many similarities between sailing and photography, the most significant being this: In both pursuits, one must harness something invisible and learn to use it in the most efficient way possible. You can’t see the wind, and you can’t see light itself. We identify and interact with both of these forces not by direct observation, but by observing their effect on objects in the world. When the sun is low and angled, the world is alight with a warm, orange glow — it’s the effect of that invisible force reflecting off of objects and presenting in colors that allows us to describe it. In terms of sailing, it’s much the same. Ripples on the water reveal a puff in the distance; telltales describe the path of wind around the curve of a sail; trees and flags fluttering on shore can suggest wind strength, while the Windex above identifies direction. By watching the signs given to us by something we can’t see, we learn how best to manipulate it. And in both cases, we can only use what the universe provides — there’s no controlling wind or light. With this a-ha moment, combined with the classroom education, I was finally understanding.