07 November 2008

inspiration with a twist

I was right.

The Nature Photo Festival in Vårgårda was a place to be humbled and inspired. Mattias Klum with his burning engagement for the environment and pictures to match. His German colleague at National Geographic Klaus Nigge, with his talk on the Philippine Eagle, was definately in the same league in both respects. Hans Strand shared some of his Iceland images, and Jari Peltomäki some of his amazing bird photos from Northern Finland. There were another handful of Swedish presenters, and three Norwegians as well. The latter got much respect for their work, especially when it involved pictures of large mammals or birds of prey.

But I was wrong too. Just like in my photo above, there's a twist to the tale.

Some of the presented stuff was outright boring, poorly presented, or both. However, as it failed to humble or inspire, it delivered a challenge. If there's room for "borers", then maybe for me? Would I be able to deal with presenting my stuff for an audience of fellow photographers; in an arena as prestigious as that? On one hand it scares the willies out of me, on the other hand I'm attracted to the challenge. Moth to the flame, maybe. The thought is seeded, though. We'll see if it sprouts.

In case you wondered, the photo above is a twisting crack in ice. Shot in November two years ago, on a nearby lake. The ice sheet was only an inch and a half thick, and sometimes I could hear the twang of new cracks forming. It was not dramatic, though. The twangs and cracks come because of tensions caused by small changes in water level under the ice. When the cracks open by just a few micrometers, it allows water to seep in and form a film that splits light. Much like an oil spill, but not usually visible to the unaided eye. A polarising filter makes the difference.

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