What I see in the viewfinder is my relationship with place and image. The less evident teachings of nature interest me the most. My photographs are most rewarding, I believe, when they evoke a sense of wonder and mystery. I like my photographs to grant the awareness of seeing a world we don’t normally see – the invocation of a ‘thin place’.
I make photos that call attention to things that other people overlook. This exploration of the overlooked helps me to engage more deeply with where I am in place.
My choice of subject comes from a place of intuition and insight and is fed by a fierce desire to touch, through image, the wonder. I look for the light within the shadows and the uncommon in the common. This sometimes means that the subject, be it landscape or something else, can become abstract, evocative, a reminder that I may be creating an ‘other’ place when I photograph it.
My intention is to use my camera like that ubiquitous rabbit hole in Alice’s Wonderland – a place of unfathomed universes, a place of inquiring self-expression. My camera allows for a deeper relationship with, and the acquisition of a language that only that subject speaks.
I generally go into the field without any pre-conceived plans or idea of what it is I will be photographing. Photography is a quest for me, an exploration. I will creep through forests, sit at the edge of waters (sea or river) where it laps at the shore. I will peer closely at dead seed pods, or the texture of a stone, or the spun glass quality of a dragonfly’s wing. I want to absorb the light, the colours, the shapes and textures like my skin absorbs sunlight. It is through this process that I can hear what the subject says to me. It is from this intimacy that I identify what needs to be photographed and what it is that I need to emphasize.
In the creation of my images, I often attempt to blur the line between photography and painting. I alter a good number of my photos. Usually it is something simple like increasing contrast. Sometimes it’s complicated; blurring for emphasis of a shape or deepening line or shadow dramatically. I do not add objects to my photos and I do not remove anything from a photograph. The altering that I do implement is in aid of my interpretation, the representation of my vision, and the expression of my emotions.
It is my hope that my imagery moves beyond the sphere of photography and embodies a painterly touch. There is a distinct ambience to all my photographs, one that touches on the juxtaposition of the real, the imaginative, the mysterious, and the wonder.
Ultimately, I want people to see the poem in the image.
Photo: Linda H.Y. Hegland 'Stones of Remembering'