What does isolation mean to the landscape photographer
Definition "state of being in a place or situation that is separate from others"
In Photographic terms the technique of isolation separates ones subject from the background and makes them the focus, how to do that is a topic for another blog, I want to dive into what physical isolation has meant to me recently and its impact on my photography
The word seems to be everywhere now. As we make our way through the COVID pandemic it is hard to imagine someone getting this far without experiencing some form of isolation. Many have been forced to isolate from friends and family, asked to limit our time outside and to not travel beyond the borders of our home regions. This has been tough on many, some more so than others, but I still prefer this to the type of isolation experienced by patients confined to an ICU bed. I hope that we are going to emerge from this soon into whatever our new normal will be.
For those of us lucky enough to call qathet home, there is a constant isolation due to the lack of roads to anywhere. There is about an hours drive worth of narrow coastal Highway 101 that connects the small town of Klah ah men (Lund) to the north with sḵelhp (Saltery Bay) and the ferry to the lower mainland to the south. We rely heavily on the much maligned BC Ferries to get out of here. This involves preparing for long waits, studying ever changing schedules and hoping for good weather. We can get out via air if needed but it is expensive and not always convenient. Some dream of a road through the rugged coastal mountains to connect us to the lower mainland but price and practicality have shot that down. We have the necessities but it is easy to want more and we all feel a little stuck at times.
The winter months add to the feeling of isolation as we have fewer daylight hours to venture out and often the weather limits our travel. Backroads are either icy, a maze of car swallowing potholes, snow covered, slick mud or if your lucky some combination of all of the above. Highways feature black ice and drivers who have forgotten that winter is a thing. We have had more than the usual amount of snow and ice so far this year.
All of these things can lead to the blues for a landscape photographer. It is easy to be jealous of the beautiful images being shared from all around the world or from Vancouver Island which is in clear view most days just across the straight. I find myself having to consciously remind my self that I live in a very beautiful area of the world, full of landscape photography opportunities, and that the local isolation means that the areas best kept secrets are kept secret.... shh don't tell anyone.
local isolation means that the areas best kept secrets are kept secret.... shh don't tell anyone
If anything the recent isolation has led to more time and effort being spent on photography and less on the other distractions. Concentrating on one specific area, both from a location sense and technique, has allowed for a lot of growth in my photography.
So I suppose...
isolation separates ones subject from the background and makes them the focus