repetition, appreciation, and learning to listen

January 03, 2015


old time kauai, tunnels beach, kauai, hawaii


Last week i spent three consecutive mornings at tunnels shooting long exposures with a 10 stop neutral density filter. Sometimes i find that repetition helps me better appreciate the changing light and the variable nature of a scene. Weather fronts and tides, wind and clouds will all play with the mood and conditions. It's all a reminder that I am only there to record and to communicate the energy and life force rather than force my energy, envy and desire onto mother nature. 


old time kauai (3:1 ratio), tunnels beach, kauai, hawaii


I am currently reading God Is Red by Vine Deloria. In this classic text on Native American spirituality Deloria presents Native American religions as a spirituality grounded in space (place) rather than time (history). It is an interesting and well supported view, and one that i find compelling. As a landscape photographer, i am constantly seeking the spiritual and transcendent in a moment that begins in a place (space).

I also found, hidden in one of the chapters of the book, a great quote by the French existentialist writer Albert Camus. In The Rebel, an essay by Camus on the individual and society, he writes "When nature ceases to be an object of contemplation and admiration, it can be nothing more than material for an action that aims at transforming it."


the little rainbow that could, tunnels beach, kauai, hawaii


This I believe is a key lesson. Because when we stop trying to transform our surroundings we can begin to transform ourselves. So let us contemplate nature. Let us admire her. Let us go deep within her and learn from her teachings. Repeatedly.


the dawn of movement, tunnels beach, kauai, hawaii 


the dawn of movement (1:1 ratio), tunnels beach, kauai, hawaii


I also found the following quote in Deloria's delightful book. This one is by Walking Buffalo, a Stoney Indian from Canada who provides insight on our unwillingness to listen:

"Did you know that trees talk? Well they do. They talk to each other, and they'll talk to you if you listen. Trouble is, white people don't listen. They never learned to listen to the Indians, so I don't suppose they'll listen to other voices in nature. But I have learned a lot from trees; sometimes about the weather, sometimes about animals, sometimes about the Great Spirit."

Let us listen to the trees. Let us learn about the Great Spirit. Let us be taught.


migration, tunnels beach, kauai, hawaii


Each day is different. Each day is new. Each tree will talk to us if only we would listen. 

Listen to the waves. Listen to the wind.

Going into nature helps us listen. Nature will tell us of the Great Spirit, and in learning about the Spirit we will learn peace.



doves of peace, tunnels beach, kauai, hawaii 


all photos in this blog are available to purchase at light source photo gallery in kapa'a, kauai or by email at