Photography: How does it make you feel?

 

_f4q7215ol-kopieImage source: Nicholas Roemmelt

I was just thinking about things that make me feel good. Photography is one of them. Looking at a photograph when you can’t be there in person can have a visceral effect on you. Well, at least it does for me. I think great photography has a story behind it and it makes you feel something. That feeling can be profound or lighthearted. But it provokes some kind of reaction in you. Art is another thing that affects me in the same way. I was scrolling through Dr. Nicholas Roemmelt’s webpage and I’m astounded at the images there. Looking at these images fills something up inside me. I look at them and sigh. I feel a kind of joy when I look at these photographs. I can’t tell you how nice it is to see that there are still so many beautiful places on this planet. We’ve ruined so much of it already. Sometimes I despair that we won’t be able to repair the damage we’ve done. But I digress. Let me get back on topic.

cheetah-baheux-4531
Image source: Laurent Baheux

Laurent Baheux is another photographer whose work I adore. He seems to focus more on wildlife though he also does landscape shots. Looking at these wildlife photos I feel like I can see the spirit of these animals. Elephants have sadness and wisdom in their eyes (especially these days). While lions are the physical manifestation of earth spirits. They are so entirely one with the land they live on. They depend on it and are affected by it. All beings have a soul and if you take a moment to look closely you can see how they are feeling in their eyes.

Take a look at the photographs on their website and let me know. What do you feel when you look at them?

 

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Quote: Edward Abbey

_f4q3719_20_21-panorama-kopieImage source: Nicholas Roemmelt

My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation’s history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.

Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951-1989 (1994) p. 92

 

12 Apostles, A Memory

12-apostles
photo source: Wikipedia
12 Apostles, Victoria, Australia

We took the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles. It’s about 2 hours and 45 minutes to get here from Melbourne. I’m claustrophobic but being in the same car as my cousins helps distract me. Plus the landscape of Oz is truly unique. I can’t stop staring at everything we pass by. City turns into small towns and are interspersed with stretches of wilderness. We take turns napping in the car. There isn’t much else to do on this long drive but wait until we get there.

When we finally do arrive, I step out of the car, my legs feeling a little funny because I’ve been sitting for so long. We wander down to the viewing platforms. I stretch my arms over my head, relishing the freedom from confinement. The hot sun beats down on my head. It’s summertime in the land of Oz. Thank God. Back home in Canada it would be winter and I’d rather be here right now. Winters can be long and dreary back home.

I look up and the sky is a pure perfect blue. There are hardly any clouds in sight. The blue of the sky matches the blue of the ocean below like two mirror reflecting each other.  I look down to the cliffs below and the waves are crashing against the shore. A refreshing breeze comes off the sea, caressing my face gently. It’s cooling me down just enough so I don’t overheat. I close my eyes in bliss. It’s the perfect temperature for me. I can’t help but think that this is what heaven on earth must feel like. It sounds corny but how else do I describe this profound peace that I’m feeling? This feeling that this moment is special? This is a day and a place where the sky meets the earth and water in perfect harmony. There are no other sounds except the people around you, the waves and sea birds flying around.

echidna
Echidna
photo source: Wikipedia

I hear a little rustling and open my eyes to look towards the noise. Not far from my feet an echidna (a type of anteater) is waddling around underneath a bush. It’s rare to see them because they are naturally timid. I feel honoured to have seen one. Natives and aboriginals believe that when you see animals in their natural habitat it’s a message to you. And I wonder what an echidna would symbolize.  My family and I explore the area with a meandering pace.  We come across a naturally formed pool of water on the cliff side with an arch of stone hugging the cliff’s edge. I wish I had my camera with me because I’ve never seen such natural quiet beauty. The sun shines through the arch, dazzling my eyes. That sense of peace washes over me again. I know that no matter where I go in my life I’ll always remember this day and what it felt like to be here. Most of us will say that life is never perfect. But today is a day where everything felt perfect and everything fit. Even the long drive on the great ocean road to get here to the 12 Apostles and Port Campbell was worth it just to experience this day.