Thoughts on impermanence
While I've been on the Norwegian island of Senja, I have been thinking a lot about the snowy weather and the wild mountain peaks that surround me.
These mountains have been here for a very long time. They have stood, facing the elements for a duration that I can only begin to imagine, let alone comprehend, and comparatively speaking, I have only been here for the shortest moment of their existence.
This has made me consider my own ideas about permanence, and that I have a tendency to relate to the landscape 'within my own timeline' and think of it as being part of my story, when in fact I am a tiny part of its story.
The landscape has seen more than I will ever do, it has witnessed and been part of land reforming over many millennia. To think that my images may convey this landscape and 'capture' it is quite a ridiculous notion because the landscape is more powerful and permanent than anything I will ever do, or achieve. The mountains I have walked over and the rivers I have crossed are a reminder of my own impermanence. It's a humbling thought.
It raises the question about the importance of my photographs and the illusion that my images have some form of permanence: my photographs are just as transient as I am. If I am lucky at best, my images will continue to exist for a little while longer once I am gone.
This has made me wonder if I place too much importance upon my work. I feel that I may have my views on my own work out of proportion to the bigger picture since it is the landscape that has more of a right to permanence than any photograph I will ever create.
I do not 'capture' the landscape. Instead, it is the landscape that captures me.