Friday, March 25, 2011

Rock 1. How beautiful upon the mountain.

In the fields at Burgoyne Bay is a rock. Large, smooth and grey, surrounded by green grass, it is a glacial erratic, tumbled smooth by the ice of 10,000 years ago as it was carried from who knows where and finally deeply deposited here in the valley. Through time and erosion it has barely reached the surface again.


On a day of sun and cloud, of rushing streams and soaring eagles, I walk past, see the sun upon the rock and walk squelchingly across the sodden field to take its portrait. With its gently rounded forms I need definite directional lighting to bring it to life. To life? It is true that I tend to find personality within ‘inanimate’ nature. So much more real to relate to a world that has face, shoulders, hips and feet. This ‘transformational’ rock pulls me forward into its spell and I start to take photos. I hold the camera at ground level and line up the rock against that other great rock, the hump of Mt. Maxwell that dominates the valley, and photograph their related forms, their similarities.

Quickly, while the burst of sunlight lasts, I circle my subject finding the flanks, the buttock curves, the cloven, shadowy places. How beautiful it is. I carefully climb all four feet to its summit, balance precariously and feel the bulk of this rock that, like an iceberg, keeps its own balance by the mass that lies below the surface. Once here however, there is nothing I can include in the picture frame that, directed downwards, does not include my own wet rubber boots. Alright, I think and bend over at the waist, widen the lens and snap the universe of rock, boots and our joint projected shadow upon the field. A funny, awkward photo. “ How beautiful upon the mountain...” comes to me as I smile to see my own shadow combined with that of the rock.

But really, is this not what I have been photographing? The rock, the sunlight, and my relationship within all of this landscape. Just as winter gives way to Spring.

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