North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada by Martin Godwyn

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Picture Story

Looking back to this image, which was taken during self-isolation on an exercise excursion into a local forest situated a few hundred metres from where I live, I wonder why I had been slow to try out intentional camera movement photography. The results can infuse the scene with such a peaceful atmosphere, muting distracting details and greatly simplifying an otherwise cluttered scene. Perhaps my reticence was the worry that ICM photography somehow distances us from the reality before us. But then I remember something Ansel Adams once said: “A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” We are not mere recorders of a light array. What we strive to relate is a different reality: the reality of what we feel when we are in that particular place at that particular moment in time in that particular light. Truth in any art lies not in the depiction of what we see outside of ourselves, but in the communication of what we find inside as we relate to what we find outside.

What I felt in this place was peace and a deep spiritual connection with the forest. Evening was falling and a single young tree was caught the last rays of the sun. It felt like I was in an arboreal cathedral far grander than any fashioned by human hands, as a witness to the baptism of a tree by light, amidst the congregation or elders standing quietly around in hushed and sacred silence.


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