The plan, as it stood, was not exactly complex. Walk to square as dusk falls and the lights come on, shoot, and return; that was about it. The Pelourinho in the old town of Salvador was only a ten minute walk from my hotel, this should have been as simple a shoot as there was to plan for and execute, but there were certain local circumstances that added a few complications; namely other people, and the perceived threat that implied. Just a week previously I’d been mugged in Rio de Janeiro and I wasn’t that keen to go through the experience again. The intervening week at Argentina’s Iguazu Falls had provided much needed photographic therapy, but now back in an earthy Brazilian city with a reputation for violent crime even worse than Rio’s I was not exactly in the laid back mental space that normally comes about towards the end of a trip. In fact to be honest I was decidedly twitchy, and constantly looking over my shoulder.
The previous day walking down the street just outside my hotel two local ladies had cautioned me about having a camera on me, then last night in the bar I watched with grim fascination a documentary on the Policia Militar, Brazil’s beleaguered police force who seem to have a reputation only slightly more reputable than the favella crime gangs they’re locked in armed conflict with. There was no getting away from it; this was a risky place to be for a solitary photographer laden with expensive equipment. But if I was just going to skulk about in the hotel I might as well have gone straight home. That was an option I seriously considered, but the professional travel photographer in me baulked. I was there to do a job, so somehow I had to come up with a plan that minimised the risks of a night shoot yet enabled me to make the images I needed to make the trip worthwhile.
I’d scouted the location; the brightly coloured facades of the colonial architecture which made Salvador a UNESCO World Heritage city clustered around the steep cobbled square were just too tantalising to miss out on. But even there in the square I wouldn’t feel safe stood by my tripod, bag at my feet, an all too temptingly static sitting target, and just getting there and back through the mean streets fully equipped was something I couldn’t take for granted. More than ever the plan was crucial, not just for the success of the shoot but for my own safety. I’d narrowly escaped a rusty blade in the gut in Rio; tempting fate again wasn’t an appealing option.
More than anything else the tripod seemed the problem. It would make me stand out like a beacon to any passing thug and rob me of all mobility once erected. So I took a radical step and decided to dispense with it. That went against the grain, but I knew my camera was capable of impressive low light performance; now was the time to rely on it. I also knew the exact composition of the shot I wanted; my fast 35mm prime lens would be perfect. I could strip the gear I needed down to just the body without battery grip and the one lens; that was it. My Manfrotto Brio 30 Sling would be perfect for this shoot, as it had been shooting the street life in the Old Town the previous day. Hopefully I’d look just like any other tourist; not that that was any security, but at least I’d minimise my losses. After the shoot I’d hide the memory card where the sun doesn’t shine (don’t ask) for the walk back through the streets in the darkness. At least if I were robbed then I’d have my RAWs. As I set out at the end of the day laden with just a pouch I felt trepidation but also a sense of determination. I had a plan.
It worked. I’m not going to make a habit of leaving the tripod behind and shooting night scenes hand held, but in this case it was the best option. In fact using an ISO of 1600 with a relatively fast exposure of 1/30 sec @ f3.5 allowed me to include a cyclist in the frame which lifted the shot nicely; had I been working on the tripod he would have just been a blur. In this case coming up with a workable plan stiffened my resolve to make the most of being there and enabled me to finish the trip on a positive note.
We always need a plan. Walking out the door hoping to stumble randomly over photographic opportunities never works. Of course few plans work out quite as they are envisaged, but a starting point is always needed, even if we end up subsequently veering off piste. A plan to be ignored or revised at will is a far far better thing that I do than none at all.
There’s a viewpoint of Carcassone from a vineyard to the south. No one has yet seemed to mind me driving my Land Rover Discovery around the dirt track at the edge to park right by where I plan to shoot. Its a neat way of working with all my stuff from long lenses to multiple bodies handy and a baguette, cheese and wine arrayed on the tailgate while we wait for the light. Sadly such locations are a rarity, so most of the time we need to lug what we need, often up very steep hills. Tough choices have to be made; I have far more photographic equipment than I am able to carry on my back at once. So compromises are inevitable. Most of the time I will have a firm idea of what I’m shooting and what lens I’ll need, so working as I did in Salvador with just one body and lens using the Brio 30 Sling is often the way forward.
I need to be flexible, yet as mobile as possible. Taking too much is always a mistake, particularly when on foot. I can after all only use one camera and lens at a time, and when the walk in becomes a feat of endurance the experience is robbed of all enjoyment. On balance it’s probably better to pack too light then too heavy. Better to Be There with a camera and lens that may not have been your preferred choice than not at all, and sometimes working light with just one or two lenses can open up a way of looking and working that has a distinct creative appeal. I will in crowded environments such as markets routinely work with just two primes; my 35mm/f1.4 and the 85mm/f1.4. For such shoots the Brio 30 Sling is ideal.
Hopefully you’re getting my point by now; we may all be precious creative types, but there’s no room for arty insouciance when planning a shoot. The preparation needs be military in its precision; in my book at least. Have you ever swapped camera bags only to discover as the light fleetingly beams through the only gap in the clouds you’ve left your filter holder in the other? Or realised you’d neglected to fit the quick release plate to the camera? Or run out of battery power with no spare? Or realised your memory cards have not been formatted in readiness and still hold precious images from previous shoots which may or may not have been backed up? Or done a whole shoot with the ISO still inadvertently set to 3200? Or attempted a perceptive portrait with a subject who’s relaxed expression is destined not to last only to realise mirror-lock or the self-timer is still activated? Or shot on the wrong exposure mode with a shutter speed too slow for hand-held captures? Or shot assuming AF is off when it is not, or vice versa? We all have, but hopefully only once. Learning from past mistakes is what makes us better quicker. There is so much that can and will go wrong, but virtually all eventualities can be avoided with proper preparation.
All images copyright David Noton Photography
Our first dinner consists of tangy fish soup, mutton & chick pea curry, coconut rice, beef & mint, stir fry watercress & mushroom and Burmese wine. It’s been a good first day. I’ve learnt I was born on a Monday, my animal is a tiger (Obama’s is a rat!), my planet is the moon, Burmese food is delicious, our dollars are wrinkled, the Lonely Planet is hopelessly out of date and The Lady (Ang San Suu Kyi) is omnipresent. Her picture adorns walls and posters everywhere, but her house here in Yangon remains surrounded by razor wire, presumably now to keep admirers out. Normally we avoid being led by the hand like the plague, but having a guide today has enabled us to make more of our limited time. Like most Asian cities Yangon’s appeal is limited; it has a certain buzz and we definitely felt the strong traces of British colonial rule having tea at the Strand, but we’re looking forward to escaping the city and getting out into the countryside.
From the air as we approach Bagan the view is of a plain flanking the Irrawaddy River crowded with temples. I’d seen the pictures before, this is probably Burma’s most famous tourist attraction, but the reality of it is incredible. Where to start? I’ll need to get out and about immediately to gauge the lie of the land and start logging locations.
Later at dinner Wendy insists on clapping for the puppet dancers. Their excruciating discordant plonkey plinkey music has been driving us mad seemingly for hours. I see no reason to encourage them but Wendy always feels for performers; she applauds the most inept buskers. I’ve endured this art form before in Vietnam and Laos, and whilst I can appreciate the skill involved enough is enough. In fact, perched on iron hard vertically backed chairs designed to induce immediate spinal complications I’m losing the will to live. It’s been a slightly frustrating day, I’ve not yet found a decent location and I can feel the pressure mounting; Bagan represents one of the prime photographic objectives of the trip. Actually I’m more annoyed with myself then the bloody puppets. I know I should just relax, enjoy the balmy tropical evening and just go with the Asian flow, but I’m not yet at that mental stage of the trip where the momentum just carries me along. But tomorrow we have a guide, and you can’t beat local knowledge.
We’re headed for Shwechgon; a temple near Bagan where a full moon festival is underway. In the car en route Htay, our guide, quizzes me about my gear. He’s a keen amateur photographer, but I’m starting to wonder just how much guiding as opposed to photo chat we’re going to get. We arrive at a gold peaked pagoda surrounded by throngs of scarlet robed monks queuing for their alms. Htay is off, more interested in his own pictures then mine; fair enough. There are so many visual options all around its difficult to know where to start; it takes me a few minutes to settle in and start concentrating on one shot at a time.
For this shoot I’m using my Manfrotto Pro Light Access Camera Holster. I need to work fast and light, unencumbered by a weighty and bulky backpack in amongst the crowds. I have in the holster my 1Dx body, 70-200mm tele-zoom and the two fast primes lenses I love using in situations like this; the 85mm f1.2 and the 35mm f1.4. Sometimes a composition can be pre planned and the appropriate lens and composition selected well in advance, but with the monks edging past I’m flying by wire, ducking and weaving to get the most interesting vantage points and responding to the rapidly changing opportunities. One minute I’m be shooting vertically, the next horizontally, high, low, long lens, wide, trying to make the most of the fleeting opportunities. Having just the holster handy enables me to work quickly; too much equipment on my back would be a disadvantage in this busy environment.
One young novice monk’s face in the queue stands out; I quickly select a focus point in the right third of the frame and shoot with the 70-200 wide open at f2.8 as he shuffles towards me. I switch to the 35mm and kneel down to the eye level of a passing novice, focusing on his nearest eye, shooting wide open again at f1.4. The moment passes before I can barely register it, but something tells me that one may have worked well.
Just how many monk pictures can I do in my career? I couldn’t possibly limit myself, particularly here at the full moon festival with such scarlet robed rich pickings to be exposed. A frantic 90 minutes of photographic indulgence follows. I go all year waiting for opportunities like this, it’s such a treat. I don’t get one rejection, surly response, cold shoulder or request for money. Oh, how long will Burma remain as open, responsive and welcoming as this? I fear I am part of the process that will spoil it all.
From the mayhem of the full moon festival Htay takes us into the dark depths of a nearby pagoda whilst plugging me for information on various cameras and lenses. I think he’s disappointed I can’t pluck out of my holster a brand new 5D mkIII for him but at least he’s now got a handle on what our priorities are for the next few days; location, location, location.
What I need is a viewpoint which shows the profusion of temples around Bagan. The plain they are all built on is, by definition, flat as a pancake, and distant views of the temples are further obscured by the trees growing all around. An elevated viewpoint is a necessity, and the most obvious ones are the upper terraces of the temples themselves. Herein lays the Big Problem. In previous years when the flow of visitors to Bagan was a mere trickle access to the ancient and often crumbling temples was unrestricted. All have dark, narrow internal passages and steps to their higher levels. Now though as visitors are flocking here restoration work on many of the temples is underway, with inevitable access restrictions in place. Other temples in need of repair have been closed off to visitors; Health & Safety paranoia has even reached Myanmar. The few unlocked temples remaining that offer elevated views are besieged with tour groups at dusk. I need space to work, and a unique perspective that I don’t want to share with hundreds of others. Htay has a plan that I’m not at liberty to reveal. Like I said, you can’t beat local knowledge.
At 5am the next morning we’re clambering up the impossibly steep and narrow steps inside a pagoda by the light of our head torches. Yet again a bulky camera bag is not feasible, so the holster is in action again. At the top the view of the plain littered with a dense profusion of temples in the dawn light is intoxicating. An hour passes as the sun rises and I work the location. Wendy is chatting to a couple of local lads who take to doing acrobatics in precarious places to impress us. I’m reasonably pleased with what I’ve shot so far, but I’m not convinced it’s an undisputed winner. As I step back to ponder my options I notice balloons taking off to the north east. As they drift lazily south over the plain I reach for the holster to switch back to my 70-200mm lens; it’s got to be worth a try.
I frame up the composition I want hand held as a balloon drifts into shot; I’ve no time for the tripod, or to fit a filter. Contrast is a problem; I’m shooting straight into the light with a bright, backlit sky to contend with. I’m going to have to rely on the dynamic range of the camera and the exposure latitude of the RAW. I dial in +1 exposure compensation with aperture priority evaluative metering. Blinkeys in the sky scream of the abuse being done to the highlights, but experience has made me confident of coaxing most of them back to the fold.
The position of the balloon in the frame feels right as it drifts off centre to the right, over the hill and away from the spires in the centre. The Decisive Moment passes as my shutter clicks. At this stage I’m not quite sure whether it will work, the contrast may be just too much. What I do know is it’s another enticing view to behold. We’re only a few days into the trip and already Burma is all that we hoped it would be, and more.
All images copyright David Noton Photography
I’m awake at 2am, an hour too early, thinking through my plan. Is it wise? Definitely not, without a doubt. I’m full of trepidation, but know deep down I’ve just got to do it. If I were to hesitate now I’d just spend the rest of my life regretting it; these kinds of opportunities don’t come along often. My bag is all packed with both Canon 5D mkIII and 1Dx bodies, plus 14mm, 17mm TS-E and 24-70mm lenses. Time to go.
At 3am I walk out of the hotel and into the darkness, towards the roar of the Falls. Above I can make out stars twinkling, but I don’t recognise any in the unfamiliar southern hemisphere night sky. Now I’m moving the excitement starts to build. I walk past the No Passada signs by the light of my head torch and out onto the narrow walkways over the water. Beyond the circle of light from my torch I can hear and feel the water rushing past all around me; even more awesome in its power in the inky darkness. My heart is now in my mouth; I feel incredibly vulnerable and tiny compared to the force of water rushing all around me. I’m soaking in the warm mist and spray, fear mixing with exhilaration as I walk further out over the Falls. Why? I am after all on the same walkway I used on the location search, and one used by thousands of tourists every day. It just feels a hell of a lot more exposed in the dark, particularly as I’m not supposed to be here. Well there’s no adventure without risk, I know that, and this has to be safer than the Copacabana at sunrise where I was robbed just a few days ago, hasn’t it?
On my back is the reassuring weight of my camera bag; a Manfrotto Advanced Tri Backpack. In the bottom compartment is all the gear; cameras and lenses, in the top the other stuff I need on a shoot; waterproof layers, water, breakfast and crucially spare batteries for both cameras and my two torches. The more extreme a location the more clothing and kit additional to the actual photographic equipment I need to take. Great shots are rarely, after all, made from the car park, and so a bag capable of containing and protecting cameras and lenses.
I reach the furthermost point on an island amongst the cascades overlooking the main drop below, I can go no further. I switch off my light and take in the scene; one I will never, ever forget. I’d been here in the day, but now, alone in the darkness on the edge of the Falls the scene is ten times more dramatic. Water is roaring all around me, the platform I’m stood on is shaking with its force, below is the surging gorge and above, tantalisingly visible through the spray, the Milky Way arcs through the night sky. I feel incredibly exposed, but its all there for me, just me; what a privilege. I need to make the most of this; no pressure then.
The rituals of a night shoot practised from Burma to Utah to Patagaonia to Yukon to Dorset kick in; focusing, composing and camera settings all are painstakingly and duly sorted. I make my first exposures, realising quickly the amount of spray blowing up from the gorge is going to present a major problem. At times the clouds of spray obscure totally the night sky above, and between each and every frame I have to pause to wipe the moisture off the lens. The 1Dx is quickly dripping; I’m glad of its pro-spec weather sealing. I keep shooting as the sky changes, wondering if the shaking of the platform is causing unsharpness, and if I’m likely to be swept into the chasm any moment. In the darkness behind me the occasional rustling in my island’s tiny clump of trees reminds me I probably am not alone. Monkeys? Maybe. I force myself to concentrate and be meticulous; this may well be the shot of the trip; of the year maybe, it would be a bugger to screw it up with a silly mistake.
I work on both horizontal and vertical compositions but it’s soon apparent the vertical works best. There’s a touch of light pollution coming from some buildings on the Brazilian side, but it’s manageable. I double check the focus, shoot, review, torch on, wipe, torch off, shoot again. The amount of light reflecting off the rushing water may mean exposure merging is not necessary, but I do some longer exposures at a lower ISO using a smaller aperture of f5.6 just in case, covering all my bases. Occasionally I pause and just look, savouring the experience. It was worth coming to South America just for this. I wouldn’t say I’m totally comfortable with my precarious solitary position perched on the lip of the Devil’s Throat, but I am after all on a platform populated by hordes of visitors in the day, it just feels dodgy in the dark.
Eventually after two heart stopping hours a lightening of the sky to the south east becomes apparent. I keep shooting in the blue twilight, then as the stars become invisible in the brightening sky recompose to capture the first orange/pink glow of the dawn sky. The spray is really becoming a problem; the break of day seems to generate more of a breeze blowing up from the gorge. I’m now shooting with the 5D mkIII and 24-70 lens, steadily coming down on my ISO settings as the light brightens. I keep revelling in the view, the solitude, the awesome energy, the fury of the Falls and the wild, untamed setting, knowing this is one experience I will never forget. This is what it’s all about; the best bit, why I endure all the hanging around in airports and nights in dreary hotels, not to mention risking muggings. It’s the pay off, a life enhancing moment that just can’t be bought, and yet another example of how photography so often provides the stimulus that results in the beholding of spectacles of natural wonder that I would never in a thousand years experience otherwise.
As the sun rises I start to feel I’m repeating myself so I relocate, using my 17mm TS-E with Little Stopper in the morning light. Enough is enough; I’m now waterfalled out, I can do no more. As the warm sun permeates the mist I retreat to a bench on a less exposed platform to attempt to dry off my kit and contemplate the morning. Over 4 hours has passed, I’ve been completely captivated again. The light is now too harsh but I don’t want it to end; I just can’t tear myself away just yet. I get the sense when I do the day to day cares of the world will soon crowd in again. I’ve the final phase of the trip to prepare for, flights to book, reservations to make, deadlines to meet and e-mails to answer. Tonight I will be in another non-descript room in transit to Salvador, but for now, alone on the edge of the Iguazu Falls, I can only wonder at what I’ve just experienced.
All images copyright David Noton Photography
Last week, on the final evening of the trip in a restaurant in Chinatown the slip of paper encased in my complimentary fortune cookie contained this Oriental pearl of wisdom; keep in mind that it’s the journey and not the destination that counts. The next day during the interminable flight back over the Pole from a San Francisco sparkling in early October sunshine to a dreary blustery Heathrow I had plenty of time to dwell on that tip, but try as I might I just wasn’t getting it. No disrespect to Confucius if this was indeed a nugget of his philosophy, but, quite frankly I think as a tenet for the world traveller this observation is about as useful as tofu masquerading as beef. I mean, how can spending 12 hours in a tube wedged in between strangers eating re-heated plastic food while watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on a tiny screen with incomprehensible sound compare to the experience of trekking through the groves of giant sequoia trees in the early morning mist in the company of bears and bobcats high in the Sierra Nevada? Sorry Confucius, but sod the journey; I just want to Be There.
Every morning we’d drive up the mountain in darkness, ready to start the hike as the very first twilight started to permeate through the sky from the east. Later throngs of tourists would crowd the trails winding through one of America’s most popular National Parks, but at dawn the woods were empty of people, and just a magic place to be. But not all was still and silent, not by a long chalk. On Day 2 we met a nonchalant black bear in the dim light right on the trail in front of us; deer became common acquaintances, we glanced a fleeting bobcat, every step we took was accompanied by the early warning calls of squirrels, birds and chipmunks, while the resonant knocking of woodpeckers echoing through the trees became one of the defining sounds of the trip. To just stand back from the tripod and listen to the Sequoia soundtrack was a defining experience in itself, but the knowledge that those huge trees with their gnarled and weathered barks occupying pride of place in the eyepiece of my camera were saplings well before the Romans conquered much of Europe made for a life affirming moment we’ll remember until we’re well past our sell by date. To crown it all on the fifth morning of working the woods evocative mist wafted ethereally between the massive trunks. It was a Decisive Moment.
Such moments come along in life only so often, and rarely happen by chance. In fact 30 years experience of roving the world in search of such photographic opportunities has taught the success of whole trips lasting weeks or even months will inevitably boil down to just a few such fleeting moments. My task, my challenge in life, is to make the most of such moments photographically. There’s not normally a second chance, but really what I do with my camera at such times seems the easy bit; it’s Being There, at the right place at the right time that’s the tricky bit; the hardest part, and the one that takes the most time, effort and sheer bloody persistence. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; there is far, far more to photography than just cameras and lenses. This game is all about having a creative vision backed up with sound planning, organisation and dogged determination. It’s about Being There, waiting with the right equipment in our hands or on the tripod ready for when that Decisive Moment we’ve anticipated and planned for finally unfolds. It doesn’t happen by accident, and as for luck, well that’s just when opportunity and preparation combine. The better I prepare the luckier I get.
Life and death; fresh growth in front of the charred trunk of a giant sequoia tree killed by forest fire, Sequoia National Park, California, USA
So preparation is crucial, we all know that, and that starts months before with the planning of all the logistics. One of my first considerations when piecing together a photographic adventure is always how I am going to transport all my equipment to the far side of the world. It’s a thorny problem, especially when flying.
The most important tools us photographers need is of course those that are free, and the easiest to carry; our own eyes. Without a perceptive photographic vision no amount of expensive glass or state of the art camera technology is going to make a difference. That being said I do on most of my trips take a formidable array of equipment. Travelling too heavy is usually a mistake, and portability is crucial, but on a trip such as our recent California adventure which was devoted primarily to landscape work I do need the right tools to enable me to make the most of the disparate opportunities unlikely to unfold, plus back up kit in the event of malfunction or mishap. In practice that means two DSLR bodies; a Canon 1Dx plus 5D mkIII with battery grip. The lenses that crossed the Atlantic with us were the 14mm f2.8 super wide, a 15mm fisheye, 17mm & 24mm TS-E tilt and shifts, the 24-70mm f2.8 workhorse, a 70-200mm f2.8 tele-zoom and the 100-400mm super tele zoom, plus 35mm f1.4 & 85mm f1.2 fast primes. In addition I deployed two video cameras; the Canon Legria HF G10 and Mini-X, plus an S110 compact and my Mac Book Pro laptop, all of which needed the usual plethora of cables, connectors and dedicated chargers. I’m not done yet; there was also my filters; grads, polarisers and NDs, plus holder, rings, remote timer, spare batteries, extension ring, head torch, phone and last but not least, my substantial Gitzo tripod with Manfrotto Pro Geared head. Put all of that lot together and it’s a substantial load.
It’s a load that is far too heavy and bulky to take on a shoot of course, at least to the kind of locations I shoot high on a hill or deep in the woods. I never even try; I’ll almost always know what sort of shoot I’ve planned and pack my photo backpack for the day accordingly. Deploying too much equipment on a shoot is counterproductive; it just gets in the way, and mobility is impaired. Retaining that mobility is so important; it enables us to react quickly and spontaneously to Mother Nature’s seemingly random moods. But in California or on any of the adventures to far flung destinations that are the lynchpins of our year I may be shooting an epic landscape location one day; a travel portrait the next and a wildlife encounter the next. For such disparate challenges I will need the right tool for the job; and so that means heading for Heathrow with an imposing mountain of gear. Travelling with so much equipment is not easy, particularly in this era of increasingly draconian airline restrictions. But I have two acquisitions that make it possible; not easy, but quite feasible, most of the time.
Mrs Wendy Noton treading boldly in the Namib Desert.
Cue the most useful asset a travelling photographer can have; a loyal, understanding and devoted partner, so devoted he or she is willing to donate their entire airline carry-on luggage allocation for the sole purpose of transporting in safety our precious photographic equipment. Meet Wendy, my wife of 27+ years. Back at Bristol Registry Office in 1987 she pledged to share her precious airline carry-on luggage allocation with me until death us do part. She also signed up, unwittingly I suspect, to be my companion on the road, to share the magic moments with and to keep me sane when times are bad. A Nurse by profession, part time driver, cook, tent rigger, general facilitator from Vietnam to Patagonia and the solitary figure treading boldly over the sand dunes to give scale to my landscapes. She is surely the template for the perfect photographer’s companion.
I would like to stress, just in case she’s reading this, that I did not marry Wendy just for her airline carry-on luggage allocation, but it does come in damn useful, especially now she, we in fact, are using a new bag that makes her attendance even more handy; a Manfrotto Roller 50. It’s square, making for the most efficient shape for transporting gear wether by plane, train or automobile. The wheels save the shoulders trudging down those long corridors to the departure gates at Heathrow or along the platform at the Gare du Nord. Its tough, giving my lenses and cameras excellent protection. Its also the optimum size for flying; even RyanAir couldn’t find fault with its dimensions; although I wouldn’t bet on that. For a bag carrying all the spare kit I need to take in addition to what’s on my back its perfect. No, you won’t see me wheeling it along the trails in the Sierra Nevada, but its destined to travel the world with us from now on, of that I’m sure. It’s just one factor that makes the hassle of the journey a bit less daunting. It all helps.
Lobos Point, Big Sur, California, USA
I wish I could agree with Confucius’ philosophy. I guess thinking big if life is one long journey than he has a point. For me though looking back at my decades of travel it’s always those magic moments behind the lens beholding nature’s wonder beside glacial lakes, from lofty hill tops, under the Milky Way or in not so silent woods that remain seared into my DNA. That’s what photography is all about for me. It’s the stimulus that prompts me to do things I would never in the course of normal life even contemplate, such as hike through the woods in the half-light before dawn, and to subsequently witness spectacles few on this planet ever are so lucky to behold. Sorry Confucius; but it’s all about Being There.
All images copyright David Noton Photography