Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Natural Settings

Nature surrounds me. I live on twenty acres of pastures and trees. A small creek runs through the western side of my property and a little pond sits on the southern side. I am usually awakened by the sound of owls communicating to one another just outside my bedroom. My neighbor is a tree farmer, and adjacent to him rests a wild-life preserve, behind me is a horse stable. Most of my visitors are deer.

After living in urban areas most of my life, residing in this rural setting was no accident. It was a deliberate plan that I worked towards for years, as I’ve always had a very intimate and dynamic relationship with natural beauty. Consequently, natural landscapes have greatly influenced my photographic art.

I believe I owe much of my sensitivity to the natural environments around me to my maternal grandfather who was an avid naturalist. He would wake my sister and I up at dawn and take us on nature walks, pointing out flora and fauna to us, identifying bird calls, giving us tastes of eatable berries and leaves. And he taught us to do all this quietly so as not to scare away the woodland creatures, which we spotted and observed, from a respectful distance, quite often.

My Grandpa also taught me about the tides of the sea, how to detect them from afar by the scents in the wind, how to walk on barnacle-covered rocks without getting cut, how to swim in the sea for hours without ever tiring of it. As a child, I spent three months out of every year at my grandparent’s home. My visits there were most nurturing. Since then I have always associated being in nature with feeling safe and loved. I feel most comfortable in nature and seek it out often. In the outdoor images I take I attempt to communicate this. Most of them are shot on my own private property.

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