Punch Bowl Falls · Eagle Creek · Columbia River Gorge · Bonneville · Oregon · USA
I've taken some time away from some of the more social aspects of photography in order to meditate on what my photography means to me...what it does for me and the reasons why I do it. Beyond the simple desire to observe all of the beautiful and wondrous scenes nature has to offer, photography for me is a bit of a paradoxical pursuit: On the one hand, I love the exclusivity of bearing witness to something no one else may see (or be able to see), whether it's what's plainly apparent before my very eyes or something more artistically visualized within the padded walls of my mind. On the other, though, it's something that would be significantly less personally meaningful to me if I couldn't share it with others--with you--to give you a glimpse not only of the world around us but also to lend a little bit of insight into me. I'm a pretty private person by nature, but my photography allows me to share my musings on life from its most mundane aspects to matters of life and death in a way that I otherwise might not feel comfortable doing.
I'm fortunate, too, that at this stage of my life I don't have to ply the sometimes tumultuous waters that reside between creating art with a broader commercial appeal and creating art that may be less popular with the masses but cleaves uncompromisingly to the integrity of my unique personal vision. I could go out somewhere on any clear night and shoot the Milky Way, and I could shoot Multnomah Falls any time I wanted to at the drop of a hat, but if I feel no personal connection to the image or the reason I chose to make it, then it's not worth the few dollars or attention it might otherwise have brought my way.
This frees me up to take shots like this--a simple, straightforward shot of Punch Bowl Falls. Visually speaking, it's nothing spectacular or exceptional in the least, and about the only thing special about it is that I broke a 'cardinal rule' by centering my subject within the frame. But it's what I was compelled to do at the time, and somehow it just feels right, even after having tried numerous other crops to try to round-hole it into the Rule of Thirds or the Golden Ratio. In the end, my intuition caved to the hushed but unmistakable exhortations of my soul: Stay centered, it said.
Maybe it doesn't speak to a whole lot of people because of it, but for some reason it speaks to me. And maybe that's precisely the message it's trying to convey.