A thick fog had set early that morning of an already rainy April. The atmosphere was almost too heavy to bear, but already I knew I was going to enjoy myself very, very much. I had been wandering on my own for a little more than a week then. Spending these moments alone was the only way I found to truly connect to my immediate environment, and it still is. It enables me to reach a certain level of mindfulness towards my surroundings, bringing with it a more receptive and sensible state of mind. With two film cameras that I knew would ensure a slow pace, I left for the day, knowing I’d spend aimless hours waiting for something to speak back to me, like I usually do.
I’ve come to a point where I find it most difficult to photograph landscapes just for the sake of it, no matter how impressive or beautiful they are. I need to find a connection that goes beyond purely aesthetic matters. I am looking to find myself in them. I look for subtle beauty. I look for the faint light emanating from the shadows, towards which I am inextricably drawn to, it seems. I seek the imperfect, the damaged, the not so easy to love. Something that you need to learn to love, maybe you love longer. Maybe it becomes a part of you.
Then, a photograph about nature becomes a photograph about emotions and your relation to it. It becomes a personal vision. Wandering in that forest, I had gone into an exploration of my inner self through a contemplation of my relation to nature. And I found precisely what I wanted. They were fleeting moments of beauty in what seemed timeless.
Seeing the images I came back with, this interpretation I made of the place and what caught my attention, what does it say about how I felt and what was going through my mind at the time? And if in some way you, the viewer, feel moved by these images, what does it say about you? A thick fog had set early that morning and it didn’t mean to dissipate any time soon, as I would eventually come to understand. But I could see clearly.
Words and Photography by Fred Tougas