A feeling of emptiness

Dear E,

First of all, thanks for taking the time to write. The emptiness you feel in my landscape images doesn’t surprise me. Like many landscape photographers, I love to get out of the city, also to avoid being bombarded by advertising, deafened and choked by the traffic, pushed and shoved by the crowds. Far from the city, our surroundings may come across as empty and unsettling just because we are so used to being bombarded, deafened, choked and shoved.

It’s also true that I see the peace and beauty of the natural environment as co-existing with its unsettling, terrifying, overwhelming and harrowing side, although I’m not the first nor will I be the last to see nature this way.

Some landscape photographers say they aim to express in their images the emotions felt at the time. In my case, more often than not, I’m cursing the elements (in jest), sliding around on ice or in mud (giggling, or maybe not), moaning about the wind as I grip my tripod (desperately), struggling to remain patient enough to get the shot I’m after, or any shot for that matter. Frustration and the freezing cold are both part of the fun though, and the cold, brisk air of my favourite sorts of landscape spots and times is always energising. But looking back at the landscape images on my blog, it strikes me that many do seem to contain an idea of controlling the environment rather than letting it be. Something for me to mull over for future projects.

I’m also relieved to see that you find some reassurance in my photographs too. Thankfully, they are not only bleak beauty prodding at tortured souls.

What you say about the title of my blog is interesting. I’m still thinking about that.

In these “darkest years” you’re going through, I do hope you have or are able to find people around you to support you. If you have an artistic outlet of your own, I also hope you can focus on that, and if you don’t currently work on any artistic endeavour, well maybe it’s time to go beyond looking at other people’s photographs through the night and start creating your own.

Thank you again for the compliments and for all your observations. They have given me plenty of food for thought.


peace in the cit

peace in the city

clouds and smoke in the city

clouds and smoke in the city

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