The "Nature" of nature photography

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Donald Miller, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Large Format
    One of the things that I am most grateful for in my life is the thoughts, words, and remembered quotes of those that have preceded me. As I consider the basis of nature photography there are several quotes that I consider.

    The first that comes to mind is "Everything is part of something else and I am part of it". This quote which I believe is attributed to Bertrand Russell causes me to pause and consider the totality of this life process going on around me and to think in terms of relationships.

    Then I think of another quote "Everything is either arising from or declining into nothingness". Again the life process is addressed but in a different way. The realization comes to me of the cycle and the transitory nature of life in a way that I am not prone to naturally think of it. Yet this process is apparent when I stop and become aware.

    Lastly there is the realization that in the end all of mankinds creations when left unattended ultimately give way to nature. In the region in which I grew up, German immigrants settled and constructed structues of limestone. Homes, barns and fences around fields were made of this quarried stone, with each post weighing between 350 and 400 pounds. These were placed 30 feet apart and therefore in each mile there would normally be more then 170 posts. With 40,000 miles of these fences constructed within a period of 30 years, one can come to an appreciation of the immense manual labor that occurred. Yet with the changes occuring within agriculture today the limestone homes, barns, and fences are succumbing to nature once again. Many homes and barns are abandoned and falling into ruin.

    I think that if I keep these thoughts within the realm of my photography I may be a little more aware. That I may be able to see with eyes which are open ever so slightly.

    Lastly, I want to share some words that came to me some time ago.

    The Wind

    Thus am I a restless soul
    Adrift on a wind tossed sea
    Spurned the safety of the shore
    'Twas not the way for me

    Again was I a whisp of cloud
    Adrift in a wind blown sky
    Alone again on my way I went
    I danced with the blazing sun

    From whence I go, I do not know
    Until this dance is done

    An autumn leaf this day I am
    From this tree I will fall
    To lie in winters time again
    A moments rest, then I'll awake
    To ride the wind again.

    I would appreciate any and all thoughts on the "nature" of nature photography.
  2. RAP

    RAP Member

    Nov 28, 2002
    4x5 Format
    There is one thought that I call, "The Rythms of the World." looking for those sublime moments when time, weather and circumstance all come together and the world reveals its beauty. It can happen anywhere, from the North or South Poles, to Central Park, NYC.
    Then translating, interpreting what your eye sees onto a photograph.

    A moment in time like that is what I call a "Once in Eternity" opportunity, when all the elements of time, weather and circumstance come together and the landscape reveals its sublime glory. It has about the same chances of happening again as there are of finding identical snowflakes.

    There is also the relationship between patterns and rythms. A pattern being a repitition of a shape, form. Like leaves on the tree, a grove of pines, a stream, ocean, clouds, mountains. Each has its own pattern. A rythm is formed by the interaction of two or more patterns and how the artist juxtapositions each pattern that will formulate the rythm, beat, song, mood, emotion of the image.

    These are just some personal random thoughts I have about photography in general and what I am trying to convey in my images.