Washington · USA
In the calmer recesses of a raging stream, falling water arcs gracefully from a basaltic precipice into the summer-warmed waters below, while afternoon sunlight casts the scene in tangential shadow.
Beyond my innate interest in the natural world and sciences, my gravitation toward landscape photography was stoked by the expansive grand scenes gracing the pages of publications like National Geographic or the panoramic vistas filmed and featured on "Nature" on public programming. And while I think the wide-angle lenses used to capture these sweeping scenes will always be the mainstay of landscape photography, I’ve found myself reaching for my telephoto lens in the field more and more often as time goes on. It's come in handy as scenic attractions ever more exposed and popularized in this Information Age have commensurately become increasingly swarmed by the revelling masses. Anymore these days, all notions of experiencing solitude in these once little-traveled locations have been rendered relics of the not-too-distant and yet all-too-distant past.
Shooting with a long lens to exclude the human noise and isolate a small but tranquil aspect of a chaotic grander scene is kind of a way of reestablishing a personal connection with something that admittedly was never exclusively ‘mine’ to begin with. But back in the day, when far fewer people were around, you could still feel like something as grand as a waterfall or a reflection lake actually was your own. And so lately I've found my photography gravitating towards a kind of nostalgic escapism...not for reasons of wanting to misrepresent the realities of a particular scene, but to reinforce the intangible things that draw me to these natural wonders time and time again, despite the sometimes maddening crowds.
And that connection...to the beauty of the natural world and to the antiquated(?) notion that these are things intrinsically worth saving for our future generations to enjoy in as pristine a state as we once found them not all that long ago...is truer to me than any augmented reality that wifi signals, USB cables, and self-indulgent “I-was-here” photography could ever represent.