“Celebrate what’s right with the world“
This a phrase used by Dewitt Jones, a former National Geographic photographer came to my attention a few years back, when a friend lent me some of his training materials. As a photographer myself, I was taken with his idea of looking at the world through a lens of celebration. I wrote this quote repeatedly in my journals to remind me to keep this as a focus for my own photography and peace of mind. I stumbled across it again a few weeks ago when I was re-reading those journals. Somehow that precise message had gotten lost in my new journals.
Yet, it hasn’t disappeared from my consciousness. Just over a year ago, I had a bit of an epiphany about my own photography style that at the heart of it encapsulates Jones’s approach. I wrote that I am a holistic photographer:
looking at the smaller details like the shapes, textures, lines and shadows, looking for how all those things connect to tell a story of the place … somehow with photography, when I let myself be open and go with the flow, I get much better shots than I do when I plan [I am a holistic photographer, 2017]
Everyday Celebrations and Buried Treasure
Earlier this week I talked about everyday celebrations as a form of everyday delights for me to share here on this blog. In this post, I want to celebrate something local that has captivated me for more than a decade – the rocks on Port Alfred’s East beach. The tidal range at the beach can be extreme especially during a spring tide, so the rocks are often covered with meters of sand and not always exposed.
It all started one day in 2007 when I took my camera to the beach on my morning dog walk. I didn’t normally do this, because I preferred to walk unfettered. For whatever reason, I took it with me. We’d recently had a big tide and all the rocks were out in the open, including this incredible one, which I have called my “love rock”. I’ve never seen it again, despite the fact that I look for it every time I go to this part of the beach. So many people have said that I’ve added the heart digitally – but hand on my heart (pun intended!), I have not!
When the rocks further up the beach are exposed like this, you can see the intricate patterns and shapes etched on them. I’ve never been able to find out what type of rock they are to produce such patterns. Without the background knowledge, all I can do is wonder at their natural beauty.
The featured image shows a larger rock closer to the water that is crisscrossed with lines and whorled patterns, like scars left over from a battle between beasts from another dimension. The lines do look a little like quartz but I’ve never been able to verify that.
These two look like skeletons of some fantastical beast buried for eternity in the sand.
These two look like ancient, primaeval hardened sponges with their deep pockmarks. Don’t you just want to run your fingers over those textures?
These two are just gorgeous with their geometric shapes and patterns.
Nature never fails to impress me with her exquisite, flamboyant art. She brings it out for us to see when we least expect it.
- Read more about my photography journey here
- Read more about everyday celebrations here
- Watch Dewitt Jones TEDx talk here