Swept Away

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Swept Away

Death Valley National Park, California (2016)

I am extremely enthusiastic about shooting in intense conditions such as strong winds. Whenever I can experience the raw power of nature exerting its influence, I invariably feel very ‘present’ in the moment and enjoy a special clarity of thought. It is as though the intensity of the experience leaves no room in my psyche for distracting thoughts; anything that might be weighing on my mind gets swept away, and I’m left with sensory stimulation and visceral reactions to guide me.

It is a wonderful, exhilarating feeling to interact with the kinds of gusts that can launch plumes of sand many feet into the air or can push snow flurries as far as the eye can see. I love leaning into the wind without falling over or attempting to walk as the wind tries to alter each step of my course. It is ultimately a very playful experience, one that taps into that place in the mind where creativity begins. As I wrote in a recent article for Photo Cascadia, one of the most important lessons that I’ve ever learned is the necessity of remembering to have fun while making photographs because creativity is ultimately a playful process. When nature is literally wrapping itself around me, I don’t have to remember to have fun; it simply is really, really fun.

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