For many years this was my favourite photograph. A symphony of greens. Photographically green is my favourite colour . I think the oxygen rich environment brings me great peace. It’s so calming. Gorgeous delicate ferns and soft damp mosses transport me back to this beautiful place.
This is the scene you will find when you take the path less traveled. I often leave tracks far behind and walk into the wilderness in search of my art leaving the presence of others far behind.
This is from the days when I carried a large format camera and transparency film all day in the hope of finding a photograph to create. I joke that three sheets of exposed film was a good day, but the reality is that one good photograph was cause for celebration. Three was an amazing day. So many days I came home without getting the camera out. Other times I had to endure the disappointment of my many failures. I became a light snob, and only photographed when the light inspired me. Film is an expensive addiction.
I opened my gallery in Katoomba with this in the initial exhibition. I put it in my survey to figure out my post cards and it didn’t do very well at all. The first time someone loved it bought tears to my eyes, as finally someone understood where I was coming from. I was appreciated. I still have that first ilfochrome print framed in a cedar frame that dad and I made together. It’s very very close to my heart.
This photograph serves as a poignant reminder that I don’t photograph for you or for others, that my primary joy is doing it for myself. To make art that I love. If you also happen to enjoy it, well that is just a bonus.
Today on my 52nd birthday I stop to reflect how lucky I am to be able to immerse my life in creativity and art. Who would have thought that teaching photography would have bought me such great joy. When I took this photograph I wanted to retire from teaching. Living a creative life is the best gift I ever have given myself. It is the best gift the universe has given. Not only has it given me a creative life, it also gives me artistic freedom. Something the Gallery didn’t give.
How lucky am I?
‘Music in the soul can be heard by the universe'
~ Lao Tzu
A big thank you to Pam for sending me through this quote. And a big thank you to all of you who write to me every day. You warm my heart and I am eternally thankful. My praise file grows thicker daily.
Newnes Plateau, The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2018
Artist | Writer | Photographer | Educator | Adventurer