Sunday, August 2, 2009
In this proud era of global warming, habitat depletion and other environmental blunders, it's easy to forget that our relationship to the natural environment is a two-way one. Last month's big shake down here in the south was just another reminder that ultimately we and all our works exist at nature's mercy.
I love documenting the decay of man-made objects like old buildings. It reminds me that no matter what we do, natural processes endure and ultimately, the rest of the universe doesn't care about the better angels of our nature, our good intentions or the enduring human spirit. It's up to us to make those things render any kind of difference in this world with the knowledge that it too is only temporary.
I found this old farm building on the Nyhon track near Hoopers Inlet a few months ago. It's where I first stumbled upon the idea of tossing a strobe in a derelict building to give one part an unnatural light, like some kind of life force or spirit of the past.
Inside, I exposed for the outside view, and adjusted an off-camera flash to light the wall and window frames to frame the landscapes outside. I brought musucian Marcus Turner here to shoot some portraits later on and it worked really well, apart from the cold wind. From the amount of crap on the floor, it's also a popular spot for sheep when the southerly blows.
I wonder how much longer this old place will be standing? And will it matter? The sun will still rise over Mount Charles, the tide in Hoopers Inelt will rise and fall long after we and this old farmhouse are gone. Beautify it, exploit it or mess it up as we will, the earth won't care. We're the only ones who care what happens to our environment, and the only ones who can do something about it.