I just finished watching the last episode of Tales by Light, a series originally produced by National Geographic but released in Canada on Netflix.
The series follows several different photographers (mostly of nature), and at least in the first season, spent a lot of time discussing their personal journeys of exploration and processes of photography, a subject close to my heart.
Although my personal interest is in nature photography, with a dabbling in other forms such as sports photography, the final episode of Season Two was particularly poignant, focusing on Stephen Dupont‘s exploration of death.
A documentary photographer, Dupont has covered many war zones and had developed something akin to PTSD from his years surrounded by carnage and mayhem. To cleanse himself, he set out to explore the more honoured rituals of death and the celebrations of lives lived.
I have no intention of photographing war zones, but one thing that struck me in Dupont’s episodes was a comment he made about photography and his reverence for his subject matter. The comment epitomizes my approach to photography, and I feel blessed to have heard it described so eloquently.
I’ve always seen photographs as gifts. You do not take them; they are given to you.
I agree and am eternally grateful.