Looking up a guest blog post I wrote in January 2020 for the blog of my friend and mentor Harold Davis, I realized I never published it here. So finally, here it is:
To live a life I think you need to believe in something, need to find some answers. Without those beliefs and answers, there is no sense of direction, which will make it hard to find it in yourself to make an effort, since you don’t even know whether the next step is getting you closer to where you want to be or further away.
The answers can be found everywhere. Sometimes you already heard them and didn’t recognize them. Sometimes you knew them all along. It’s just that the right questions were never asked.
When I read Ansel Adams’ 1965 article about Edward Weston, one sentence struck home with me: “You might discover through Edward Weston’s work how basically good you are or might become.” The questions I asked myself after reading this and pondering it for a while made me realize something I knew all along. About who I was. And about my work as a photographer.
It is no coincidence that most people will tell you when asked where they go to wind down, relax, find peace, recharge, that they’ll find all that in nature. I believe that we all feel that way in nature is because we are basically going home. It’s where we belong, it’s where we came from and will go back to. And it’s what we feel disconnected from when we’re back in the everyday “real” world.
I am often asked why there are rarely any people in my photographs. I think they are always there. When I take pictures of forests, mountains, the sky, the sea, a sunset, then you can find yourself in there. You, and all the rest of us. I believe that everything in nature is connected and even in this day and age when he have managed to be so out of touch with nature if we are willing to be open, we can find ourselves there again.
So when I show you Marram grass in the wind under a stormy sky along the coast, it is you. When I show you fir trees aching under the weight of the snow, it is me. And when I show you the moon reflecting in the ocean stretching out to the horizon, it is all of us and all you will ever need to know. Because at this point the questions will start forming inside you and point you to what we knew all along. And what will help you discover how good you are or might become.
“I know now wherever I go, the path will show itself with every step I take. I’ll never be lost.” This is my idea for The Path (France, 2018).