I am using these photos for two different challenges at once. Truth is, with my career, I don’t do mornings very often. But when I do… it usually means solitude, beauty, adventure, and an amazing inner feeling of serenity. Since taking up photography as a hobby a few years ago, it has really become a quest of mine to seek out these places and moments that give me that feeling that words often fail to express. Numinous is a word I like for this sense. Although numinous often implies a religious experience, for me the American Heritage dictionary definition is more accurately describing my experience of the numinous— 1.Filled with or characterized by a sense of a supernatural presence: a numinous place. 2.Spiritually elevated; sublime. For me, this usually means getting away from the man made world as much as possible, and letting its more ancient, natural sibling take over. It is a feeling I never tire of. It puts me completely in the present moment. My other quest is to try to convey this feeling I experience in the photos I take. If I ever take a photo that can accurately express it, I will have succeeded as a photographer. I haven’t managed it yet, but hey, if it was easy it would not be a quest.
(Very) Early morning Alaska
Fisherman headed out to sea. 6 am on the inside passage Alaska
7 am in the Endicott Arm fjord. Alaska
The Dawes Glacier in the morning sun
The face of the Glacier backlit by the sun
The walls of the fjord
Morning mist at the Mendenhall Glacier (the bottom left side of the glacier can be seen in more detail in the next shot)
Face of the Mendenhall with 10 people approaching it in a boat
The mountains of the White Pass valley stripped nearly bare by glaciers. Morning north of Skagway
Pitchfork Falls in the early morning. Not another human soul in sight.
Quiet morning in the Tongass National Forest
Solitary mushroom growing on the rainforest floor
The Cathedral at Pisa in the early morning (before the hordes descend)
Morning in a field in the 100 Mile Wilderness, northwest of Bangor Maine
Taking up photography as a hobby just a couple of years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. There have been frustrations involved (the cost of nearly every piece of equipment, trying to find people willing to be subjects so I can practice portraits, etc.) The biggest reward, in my opinion, is that photography has made me more aware of the beautiful things all around me that used to slip by unnoticed. Not just little things either. The most spectacular sunsets used to get no more than a cursory glance if I was “busy” with something else. After just a few years in this hobby, I now see beauty literally everywhere I go. From the smallest insects to a broken window to those amazing sunsets, something makes me pause in wonder everyday. The act of picking up a camera has had a magical effect on me. All the beauty of the world was there before, but this hobby has been as if I were given a new set of eyes which are more able to see life’s rich pageant. Without changing anything else about my life, it has made me a richer person in the way that truly matters. While I do hope to make better images over time, I have found that I’ve already received a bigger reward from photography than I ever expected.