Do you remember the insatiable curiosity of your early years, fed by an endless supply of energy which drove you to explore and experience the world around you? In those carefree days climbing down muddy creek embankments to catch tadpoles and watch fish swim by, we worried little about getting wet or being covered in layers of mud. It was even a joy to go outside on a cold winter's day, splash about in the deepest puddles and be soaked to the skin. Rain, hail, snow the world was an amazing place to our young minds. Life was fun, we were resilient and an adventure waited around every corner. As we grow however, the responsibilities of adulthood and pace of modern society have the potential to erode this natural spirit of curiosity. It is worth every now and again taking a look back into the past and remember how we once saw the world.
As landscape photographers we are in part explorers, artists and storytellers who use light rather than paint or ink to capture the beauty of the landscape. We seek to create more than a simple visual record of a moment, but infuse our images with a drama which takes the viewer on an adventure in which they can almost sense the chill of a cold alpine wind, the scent of wet rainforest and thunder of breaking waves. Rarely are our subjects a short distance from home and more often than not they are at their best at unsociable hours or when the weather is at its worst.
Rediscovering a child like curiosity and wonder kindles a sense of adventure, allowing us to see the world in a different light. Curiosity drives us to see what is around the next bend or over a distant hill. Wonder instills a resilience which keeps us out late at night and to stay the course, waiting for an impossible sunset when heavy rain is falling. Adventure may even call us to climb a mountain peak or descend a muddy creek embankment once again in search of hidden beauty.
In photography as in other pursuits, a healthy dose of curiosity, wonder and adventure will bring its own reward. While others may be comfortable at home in bed, those of us who dare may just catch that special once in a lifetime moment, as the rain eases one stormy morning and for a few fleeting minutes, a sweet yellow glow washes spectacularly across the landscape.
While age old advice warns 'curiosity killed the cat', I'd rather believe it is the spark which ignites great passion. Stay young at heart. Explore. Dream.