There’s no doubt about it, I think too much. I burden myself with ethical dilemmas and over-analyse everything; it can’t be healthy and if I’m honest, it’s exhausting! Carefree colleague and friend Danny Green tells me not to look beyond next week and even advises against this blog becoming a philosophical platform, but I’m not built that way; I ponder and muse and often conclude that I’m trying to make sense of a world that makes little sense.
As much as anything it might be to do with middle-age (the point in life when you start looking back instead of forward) and consideration of your place in the world. I don’t think I’m alone in this respect. Picking up this month’s edition of Outdoor Photography, I see Niall Benvie looking back on career highlights; I read with interest Mark Sisson‘s route into nature photography and his inevitable reliance on tours and workshops, and I read Elliot Neep‘s well-written analysis of the impact of over-eager photo tourists in Africa. These are all signs of changing times and changing perspectives. Nothing is as certain as change.
Against this backdrop, I found myself last week in Bosque del Apache in New Mexico, a major wintering ground for snow geese and sandhill cranes, and one of the most heavily-visited wildlife photography locations in the world. I knew before the trip that I was unlikely to produce anything new and I didn’t. I knew that I had little commercial use for the images and I haven’t. But I also knew that knocking on the door of 50, this was something I wanted to see (and hear and smell) and so reason, logic and commercial justification were cast aside and off I went.
I joined a small group of photographers and we took lots of images. We ate New Mexico out of house and home and we laughed and joked. We saw lots of wildlife and some of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve witnessed anywhere. I didn’t analyse things too much (I’m lying now) and although I can’t say that I ‘connected’ with Bosque in the same way that I ‘connect’ with places closer to home, it was a great week and in many ways, took me back to why I first picked up a camera – not to over-calculate my every waking minute, but to have fun.
We are allowed a bit of fun aren’t we? I’ll have to think about that.
The tour was organised by Natures Images and my thanks to them and their guests for good photography and good company.
Edit: A gallery of images from Bosque can now be viewed here.