My relation to photography can best be understood through the process and chosen methods, articulated projects and personal goals. Let me help to paint this more abstract background in the most understandable manner.
To me, the photographic process is inherently defined through my personal connection to its raw and natural from, starting from an idea and ending with a shutter actuation. Such a basic basis leaves so few details to be managed and yet an expansiveness in possibilities and the freedom to imagine the world as creatively as possible.
While I have experimented through a good number of photographic genres, the most captivating of subjects and my chosen specialization includes wildlife and landscapes; it also happens to be one of the greatest excuses for exploring the backcountry. I have had the fortunate opportunity to explore a diversity of environments and landscapes around the world in search of specific inspiration; through constant exposure, I have gained perspective toward photographic concepts and even constructed new introspective views.
So what difficulties might I face in light of my goals? I suppose we could break it down into a few key notions: morals, standards and the human limitations; and let’s just pretend that we’re willing to consider the first two external from the lattermost. I find it only fair to the environment to engage in this art in the most immersive manner as possible: long days, often through inclement weather helps me better understand the behavior of the wildlife in its environment, and subsequently, the best methods for interacting with the least amount of impact. This condition and paired goal often finds itself at a conflicting juncture with the dedication to constantly augmented imaging objectives.
In securing such an image that should meet a threshold for acceptability in planned depiction or imagined result, I note a choice to acquire the image at the cost of the inherent compromise with actual interference and impact. These ambitions combine to lead me into settings less fit for agreeable human existence, and almost always strain the already deteriorating physical condition in attempt to prove mind-over-matter as a way of achieving some result.
Naturally, these self-imposed challenges lead to excursions with high variability in degrees of success. It is a fact that a majority of explorations conclude in vain, without a photograph of quality, or even, for that matter, a single photograph. There is, however, a silver lining in the less tangible experiences garnered from intrinsic observations. These constant challenges remind me to perpetually challenge myself, my thinking, ideals and morals, that the effort I dedicate is unique and somehow meaningful, that every failure is step toward an even greater success, that every success that is achieved is that much more cherished, and lastly, that whatever successes may follow will have occurred from true and inspired origins.
Some successes are more difficult to quantify due to their intangible definition; sometimes bringing an idea to fruition, seeing it in its full form, is success enough, and no further efforts could present additional perspective. I have often forgone capturing moments, only to selfishly absorb its instantaneous nature for my own benefit. With every moment that dances along this timeline, I understand that the world and its environment, for better or for worse, will never be the same, and living in that moment for that moment would be the wiser option. Sometimes, a scene unfolds before the lens, just as I had imagined and planned, but my own amazement at the spectacle impedes the notion to photograph. I’d like to think that, despite my shortcomings on capturing each special moment, I have learned a thing or two, and emerge slightly more self-educated in my photographic and non-photographic mindset.
And what about these tangible successes? Well, I’ll leave the assessment to you, the reader and hopefully anxious viewer, to determine which images will inspire you or transport you to a place and time that has yet to personally transpire.