“ Patanjali, Buddha, Moses and Jesus did not go to workshops or seminars or even churches. They went directly to nature: sat under a Bodhi tree or on top of a mountain or in a cave. … It is time to return to the source of this inspiration – the earth itself.”

Dolores Lachapelle


I had flown to New York to buy an 8 x 10 view camera.  The salesman at BandH convinced me I needed a more portable 4 x 5.  So I bought a Linhof Technokarden TK45 and a couple of lenses and dark slides from Lens and Reprographics.  A couple of packs of film, a light meter and a tripod.  I was off with my new camera. 

It had been ten years since graduating art school when I had put my camera down.  Funny as I picked up the paint brush in Kuwait and hard started watercolours again.  Painting photographs. I had bought a point and shoot and was madly photographing my friends. 

After a quick stop in Chicago, and a broken heart.  The Irish girl I painted my first real painting for met up there with me and she had decided I wasn’t for her.  So with my tail between my legs, heartbroken I went to Colorado for a month.

After a week at Crested Bute on my telemark skis I ended up at Teluride.  Silverton was just around the corner and I knew Delores had written  “Sacred Land, Sacred Sex: Rapture of the Deep: Concerning Deep Ecology and Celebrating Life” there.  It was the start of the deep ecology movement and I was just around the corner.

So I went for a drive to Silverton and found this view along the way.  It was my second large format photograph in ten years.  The other was an iceical by the side of the road.   

I had just devowered her more recent book “Deep Powder Snow: Forty Years of Ecstatic Skiing, Avalanches, and Earth Wisdom”.  A book that taught me more about connecting with nature and letting it flow through the body than I had known before.  I am not sure how much it helped my skiing.  But it effected me deeply.

I firmly believe that we need to return to nature as our inspiration for our ethics, spirituality and wisdom.  She has so much to teach us.  Yet year we grow further away from the natural centering and grounding she gives us.  

Breathe.   Let nature flow through you. Let her be your inspiration for creativity.  She is the ultimate creative force.  Use her with respect and care. The rewards are immense. 


Silverton, my homage to Dolores and her gift of deep Ecology and passion for powder skiing.  The start of my return to large format film.  Such and important photograph for me.  Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2019

Artist | Writer | Photographer | Educator | Adventurer