‘Anatomy of a Rogue Wave’
In 1948, Suzanne Plachette, the beautiful apprentice to the world famous photographer, Frank Rosefish, lifts the heavy camera of her master, and climbs to the top of the rock. Frank has gotten too old to make this climb. Suzanne understands a gauntlet has been passed. Positioning the legs of the tripod on the jagged rock was no easy task. Her heart racing, she sees her shot. She changes the lens for a close-up and presses the button with her thumb.
“Hurry up!” Frank shouts up to his understudy, he doing his best not to notice the strong wind has blown her skirt up to her thigh. Distracted, and annoyed, the young Parisian climbs down the treacherous rock, carefully. If she stumbles, her chance to be a famous photographer, would be at and end.
The next day, Suzanne brings the newspaper to her master’s Carmel bungalow. Together they read about the woman who got swept off Rocky Point by a “rouge wave”.
“This doesn’t make any sense!” declares Rosefish. “This is bullshit! Who in their right mind would go tide-pooling here?”
Having photographed every square inch of this coastline, Frank knew this was a very dangerous place. A fisherman was swept off this rock a week prior. There had been an eclipse of the moon. This woman had lived in Carmel most of her life.
“She knew better.” Rosefish uttered slowly as he let out a puff of smoke after taking a long draw from his meerschaum pipe.
Suzanne was distracted, as she took in the handsome man in the Sea Captain’s uniform. He was informing his fans he was sailing back to San Francisco on his famous yacht, the ‘Bohemian Roe’.
“That’s him! That’s the man I took a photograph of. He was standing next to this striking young woman. I got a close up just as you called to me. When I looked up, this woman was gone!
Rosefish took the pipe out of his mouth and lay it down on the oak table. Teacher and student looked at each other for what seemed an eternity. As one they made a beeline for the darkroom to develop what would turn out to be – the shot seen round the world.