'I Love Not Man The Less, But Nature More', March 2014
This blog is inspired by a poem by Lord Byron, ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage', and I have taken the liberty to quote below the few stanzas that are most inspirational to me on a personal basis, and relative to my experiences as a photographer in particular. There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more
'Blue and Gold'
‘Lord George Gordon Byron [1788-1824], commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement, he is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential. He travelled all over Europe especially in Italy where he lived for 7 years and then joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died one year later at age 36 from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi in Greece. Often described as the most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics, Byron was celebrated in life for aristocratic excesses, including huge debts, numerous love affairs with both sexes, rumors of a scandalous incestuous liaison with his half-sister, and self-imposed exile.’ ~ Wikipedia
Growing up in the tropical paradise of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) I have always had a deep connection and admiration for Nature. There is something both calming and exciting about being in Nature, and I began my photographic journey at an early age with my Dad’s camera shooting amongst the beauties of the estuaries and jungles of Ceylon. To this day, one of my earliest memories is of looking down into the viewfinder of a Roliflex camera and composing an image of an ocean scene, and placing a Banyon tree off to the side in the foreground, and thinking to myself how much I loved doing this! Then going into my father’s crudely put together darkroom in our modest home, developing the film, creating a proof sheet of the twelve shot roll, and eventually printing a copy of that scene using an enlarger, placing a paper in a tray of chemicals and watching the print gradually appear of the scene I had shot was pure magic to me.
Over the last four weeks of this year, I have placed myself in Nature on three occasions, where I was reminded just how magical and awe inspiring it can be to witness the never-ending facets and changes this pursuit provides. As a photographer, I feel that being there at these moments allows me to capture a ‘sketch’ of what I am witnessing. My job on these occasions is to compose, focus and correctly expose the image that I bring back home with me, that I then take into my ‘digital darkroom’ to develop into an image that best represents what I witnessed in the field into a fine art product.
Sometimes I go out to various locations with a certain image in mind that I would like to create, hoping that Mother Nature will cooperate and provide on a particular morning or evening. I have found that this typically leads to disappointment. What is more effective is to go to a location with an open mind, with the attitude that I will create with and enjoy what Mother Nature decides to provide on any particular day. So here are some highlights of what I brought back with me from the three locations I visited recently, Death Valley National Park, Yosemite National Park and the Big Sur coastline along Highway One, south of Monterey, California. Enjoy!
'Shadows and Light'
Early morning light on the Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California
An especially beautiful sunrise from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California
After numerous visits to this beautiful spot I was fortunate to find this beautiful sunset at McWay Falls, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California