Something I’ve noticed about my photography is that my favorite photos are rarely the ones that other people seem to appreciate. It’s been an ongoing thing since I first picked up a camera about four years ago. It took me a while to understand what was happening, but now I know why.
I see myself in my photos, and my favorite photos are the ones that express me and my life in the best way possible. It’s deeper than the colors, the contrast, the texture. It’s how the forest in front of my camera reflects the forest in me. In this way, the camera is just a focal point that takes me and reflects it out into the world… or is it the other way around?
This photo was taken at around the timberline of Mount Saint Helens and it’s one of my favorite photos. It was a hard 4 hour uphill hike, through ice, snow and sub-20 degree weather. I was bleeding from my thumb, and we were all a little grumpy. Even with all of that, there was this moment, the one that I captured, where we all just kind of slowly turned to this overwhelmingly beautiful horizon and took a long, deep breath.
It’s these moments that I feel most connected to, and it’s these moments that make all of this worth it. I felt very much that the view demanded a moment of respect, and peace, and, when given that, we felt both respect for ourselves for making it here and peace for allowing ourselves to enjoy it.
At the end of the day I feel overwhelmed by the gifts that nature has. I’m not talking specifically about how beautiful nature is, I think that’s apparent. What drives me is that Nature has a way of bringing the things I am struggling with or have underappreciated in my life out of me. This process of examination allows for a far deeper understanding of the world around me, and the world inside of me.
We are all just made of stardust, and we have an infinite ocean of thoughts, emotions, fears and love just waiting to be explored. This is what my photography is about, and it’s why it’s so deeply personal to me.