Behind the Lens: The places we hide
There is something strangely captivating about landscape photography; the open horizons, soaring alps, thundering rivers, and lush valleys seep into you with each encounter. Curiosity sucks at your consciousness until you become restless, longing for the rhythms and dangers associated with the living presence of this world.
The land makes us who we are; we are part of the land, as it is part of us.
Despite having spent 38 years hurtling around the sun on this rocky blue planet that we call home, I often feel as though my journey into this existence is only just beginning. My world is a giant jigsaw puzzle, and I am slowly working out how to arrange the pieces in such a way that they will all fall into place.
Several years ago, when I arrived in Germany, the Bavarian winter landscape spoke to me of long-lost tales. I was alone but I did not feel lonely. Instead, I found a peace which I didn't even know I had been yearning for. It unravelled in a plume of tranquillity from the inner recesses of my soul through the air as I exhaled.
The fundamental loneliness of existence is something I’ve explored for a long time. It is a subject that is often portrayed in landscape photography, whether intentional or not. When I spotted this tree standing steadfast in the fog before a vast mountain range, it reminded me of how it felt to stand in the middle of the bustling CBD in Melbourne during peak-hour traffic.
Despite being surrounded by people, it is always easy to feel alone. That’s because there is more to loneliness than just being alone. Loneliness can take on many forms and it can leave us feeling isolated and disconnected from others, no matter how safe we may feel or how connected we believe ourselves to be.
When I think of the Universe and how small we are in comparison, I am sometimes left with a sense of loneliness that pervades my senses. It temporarily clouds my judgement, much like the fog in this image as it moves in and out from engulfing the tree. During these moments, I remind myself that as the famous astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, once said, “we are all made of star stuff.”
You, me, the trees, the air that we breathe and the countless planets out there in the space around us.