31 Aug Why
Many of us are relatively spoiled for choice. It’s great to have choices; in fact it’s a privilege. Weighing and making choices can prove tricky, even debilitating. Paralysis by analysis! We are bombarded with messaging and data. Advertisers, influencers, entertainers, journalists, opinion writers, brands, trends, all seeking to attract our attention trying to persuade us to think or feel a certain way, to take action, to pursue a path, to vote a certain way, to spend our money here or there.
Every day we make thousands of choices, some we make consciously many unconsciously. It can be confusing and tiring trying to figure out what we want, what others want, what to do. I find asking and answering the question why is an excellent circuit breaker, an aid to navigation, to distilling things down to their essence, to drown out the noise, to simplify life and make better choices.
This leads me to my why. Why have I dedicated so much time to the outdoors, to capturing beauty in nature and observing and learning about our remarkable planet.
I love feeling huge swells pass under me in the southern ocean. I love watching ants being industrious. I love standing speechless, in awe as a polar bear sniffs the wind, gathering data about its environment. I love the cacophony of sound emitted by hundreds of thousands of King Penguins in South Georgia or by raucous green tree frogs after a torrential tropical downpour. I love standing in silence and awe under the stars or under the aurora borealis or in a forest as snow falls silently. The more time I spend in nature the more I feel my own insignificance, the more I understand and admire the ingenuity and beauty around me.
The more I observe and photograph nature, the more I have come to admire and respect the plants, animals and ecosystems that we share this planet with and rely on for our own existence and sustenance. I realise what a great privilege it’s been to see and experience the places my photographic journey has taken me and with that privilege comes a responsibility to educate myself and others about the state of the environment, to research and tell stories, to create connections, to share beauty and perhaps stir a sense of curiosity in some fertile minds.
So, my why has morphed a little from experiencing beauty and adventure, satiating personal curiosity and silencing an active mind to actively looking for opportunities to capture and share beauty, stimulate discussion and perhaps even inspire action to preserve and conserve that which we rely on for our own survival and prosperity.
When I’m about to make any decision of consequence or face any event that feels significant I like to ask myself how I would feel about my choice or events in a few days, a few weeks and a few years. Mostly the answer is with time most decisions will feel inconsequential. The most consequential choice I can make as I approach my sixth decade is to facilitate connections, stimulate discussion, to encourage my curious kids to remain curious and where possible to be a voice for the voiceless, including the many creatures that are impacted by human greed and neglect.
This blog will not be filled with technical discussions about gear, settings and editing, rather I plan on telling you some stories behind the images, to educate and stimulate discussion and interest in the natural world. I hope you enjoy the blog and my images. Thank you so much for taking time to read my why.