Standing at the bottom of a stream, you’re often left with little indication of what lies ahead. The movement of a stream, heavily dependent on the strength and direction of the water flow. Much like life, could be nothing for miles, or right around the next corner could be a rushing waterfall. The only way to find out is to press forward and explore it for yourself.
By opening myself to exploration and new experiences, I’ve captured some amazing scenes. On this day, as I wait for the sun to rise, I reflected on some of the bigger questions in life. One of the greatest discoveries revealed in my photography career is everything I’ve learned about myself. My hopes, and dreams. My perspective on life. Looking through the lens has taught me to look at life and experience the emotions I see and feel through my lens. I have also learned to spend entire days walking around and observing, forcing me to enjoy each location for myself before I pull out my camera.
Photography is a powerful medium of communication. As my work evolves, my “signature” becomes more visible in the work I produce. You can see this influencing the way I photograph and also in the way I process the composition, the exposure, and post-processing of the photos. Now I notice all the little details. I observe light and colour much more intensely than I once did. The process has also taught me to be patient and to slow down and enjoy the moment.
Photography has allowed me to spend a lot of time outdoors, documenting the force of Mother Nature around me. It is like telling the story of nature with the camera lens. Without context, a photograph takes on a meaning unique to the viewer. Consider this image. On first glance it looks like a humid and rainforested locale like Hawaii, when in reality this image was photographed on Vancouver Island in Canada.
On this day, the BC coast was completely encompassed by rain and grey skies, which made it perfect for shooting waterfalls. I knew of an amazing waterfall in this area and had an idea for a shot. Scoping out the shot the day prior, I sourced a place with perfect lighting within the canyon. A place where the waterfall wouldn’t be too bright, and the rock formations in the foreground would still be visible.
I thought if I could get up close and personal to the waterfall, I might be able to do this location some justice. I got up in the morning and hiked down to the entrance of the waterfall. The weather and lighting were perfect. There was just enough rain that it was making a second small stream from the top of the cave downward.
In the area around cascading ‘Sacred Falls’, a fine mist dances through the air and nourishes a verdant carpet of moss. Moss will thrive on the surface of rocks surrounding a waterfall such as this one. The moss lends an earthy element to my image; you can nearly smell the deep, lush, greenery, similar to grass in the field or algae from the sea. Tranquil and serene, Mother Nature provides soothing comfort with the softness of water and moss. Moving water represents prosperity, healing, cleansing, and regeneration. Waterfalls themselves are considered to be sacred places, nature’s temple.
I’m continuously surprised to learn about how small shifts in my approach, greatly shifts my perspectives. For example, by choosing a different time of day, or a different place to capture this image – the outcome evolves. But, I also learned after moving away from the lens and viewing this image after it was printed and hung – I noticed details I hadn’t noticed before. With a renewed perspective, I noticed something special in the background. At the very top of the waterfall, by interpreting the shape of the rocks, you’ll see two people expressing their love through a kiss in this sacred place. When I have the chance to review the full-size of an image, I love finding little surprises that Mother Nature has in store for me.
‘Sacred Falls’ reminds me that the natural world is incredible, inspiring, and wondrous. Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety. In fact, just viewing images of nature has been shown to increase pleasant feelings. Everything humans need to thrive in this world is provided by nature: food, water, materials for shelter, medicine for ailments, and injuries. Nature fortifies our economy, our society, and is the touchstone of our very existence.