AF-S NIKKOR 24–70mm f/2.8G
This photo series comprises 12 photographs taken over a four-month period at four different locations: Point Reyes and Lake Tahoe, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Chirripo, Costa Rica. Typically, my work includes an element or presence of human beings or their interactions, because I find people to be the most interesting things on this planet. However, for this project, I deliberately separated humans and nature as two distinct entities, which reflects the prevailing societal belief and practices of today, and focused solely on nature as my subject.
I use HDR, tripod maneuvering, and rely on patience and a keen eye for natural light to capture stunning photographs of nature. Although working with nature as a subject matter can be complicated, I’ve learned to embrace the unpredictability that comes with it. While I have encountered frustration and unsatisfactory images, I have also captured astonishing landscapes and striking lighting situations. When photographing natural light, my approach is to capture it as an element in its own right, rather than solely as a means of transforming human subjects during golden hour, for example.
I photograph water in the form of ocean waves and cloud vapor. I photograph earth in the form of fissured and geometric rocks. I photograph biological matter in the form of gnarled and unruly trees. Lastly, I photograph air in the form of wind as it shapes the waves and cloud formations, while also creating a transience and impermanence to each of these formations.
The format of this photo assemblage is not random. While selecting this particular orientation of the photographs, I mainly aimed to create a mirroring of elements and coloring to create a feeling of parallelism and balance for the viewer. The oceans begin and end the collection, bordered by the rock formations and the singular branches of the trees. The photographs containing the trees symmetrically oppose each other, while the clouds dominate the center of the photo formation beginning from bottom left to upper right.
Humans can only orchestrate so much. Humans cannot control nature. They cannot control the intervals between the waves crashing one after the other, the dissipation of clouds as they swirl with the rhythm of the wind, the contorted tree branches as they chase their way towards the sun, and the fissures of rocks as they bear witness to time. These elements were here before us and will remain here after us, constantly evolving and changing their forms. During this photo project, I consciously made an effort to escape human and urban dwellings, and in the process, I had forgotten and re-learned how dynamic nature can truly be. I learned how quickly the landscape shifts before and with the fading light and gusts of wind. Each scene that passes only lasts a singular second before vanishing forever as it evolves into something else. These photographs immortalized 12 seconds of nature’s infinite ensemble that it constantly and ceaseless orchestrates. Every piece by nature claims a uniqueness and originality that I aimed to capture with these photos. I was both a fanatic type of spectator, chasing the changing light and seeking different angles by tilting my lens and body in various ways, as well as the passive spectator, absorbing the scene that manifested right in front of me, simply enjoying the show that nature was orchestrating. I let go of control. Nature is quite the performer and orchestrater. Attention to nature through this project brought me into a reflective state that a camera empowers me with. The ways that I experience the present moment changes with a camera in hand, because the present and everything surrounding me commands my attentiveness. I am reminded that Nature presents itself as the most impressive of art forms, for it is unbounded and infinite, never the same, and always creating.