When I reconnected with photography a few years ago, I did it because I thought that it was going help me find my way back to myself. I’d vanished for a while where I no longer knew who I was or where I was going in life. I thought that having a camera in my hand, I might eventually find that guy that had been lost to the shadows of my suppressed grief.
What I didn’t expect was the way it would help me reconnect with the world, strangers, family and friends, on a deeper level. It wasn’t the camera itself, but the subjects I was photographing that slowly led me back. It was nature.
I by all means am not a landscape photographer, nor do I want to be known as one in the professional game. However, I found that being amongst the mountains, the flat running plains, the rainforests, the Australian bush, the ocean and the creek beds, that I was able to find the answers I needed. I felt, that every time I came back from a day trip, I brought a piece of my self back. A piece that I had lost, so so long ago.
There is a wisdom that nature has, that far exceeds any self-help books. It’s a quiet wisdom, that if you open yourself up to it, you’ll find it everywhere. You can even find it in a city park, if you look hard enough. The key word here, being “look”. You have to look. You need to look for the shadows over the mountains, cast by the clouds above. You need to look for the tiny fungi growing on the trunks of the trees. Watch how the fresh water, swiftly brushes over the smooth stones in the creek beds. Feel the cool temperature of the ocean and how the crashing waves against your skin, cleanses your soul. To look and to feel a little deeper, takes concentration and because your concentrating, your mind becomes quieter. The thousands of thoughts that run-through your head, disappear to only a few. Like a meditation, you become still amongst the purist of life.
It wasn’t until I traveled to New Zealand this year, that I really understood and felt the wisdom that nature can provide. Being amongst the rigid, stoic mountains, feeling this matriarch energy that’s projected, I was drawn into their warm, comforting blanket of protection.
We typically associate mountains with words like catastrophe and disaster, adventure and adrenaline, rough and dangerous. However, on this trip, I felt quite the opposite. I felt protected by them. I felt an intense warmth and most of all I felt they hold the answers to the harder questions we ask ourselves on a daily basis. Who am I? what are we here for? why have I chosen this path in life?
Visually I could see how insignificant we really are in the grand scheme of things. That we are not the most powerful thing on this earth, as we like to think we are. We are just 1 part of nature and the universe, that has a role to play. Nature has the ultimate power and if it’s something we can all realise, we might treat it with much more respect.
Connecting with nature through my photography, enabled me to reconnect with my true self, to get to know him and bring him out of the shadows. Something that I did not expect.
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