Nature's Restorative Power
The devastation caused by bush fires in my home state of Victoria on Saturday, February 7th continues. The latest count is 130 confirmed deaths and 740 homes lost.
Soon many of the affected areas will be deemed safe for visitors. When that’s the case I will make a point of visiting some of them. Although many communities that survive will be in need of the tourist dollar, my intention is not that of the tourist, but of the documentary photographer. I believe that it’s important that all aspects of the human condition, whether positive or negative, be explored. As long as your intentions are pure, and permission is granted, your images can make a real difference to the community in question and to the world at large.
There is also great merit in photographing ravaged landscape. A few weeks after fire, new life will emerge. It’s a wonderful metaphor that can provide a sense of hope to many folks experiencing hardship.
A photographer’s images have the potential to raise money for those that have lost their homes and/or livelihood in the fire. There’s also the notion of the time capsule. Images can become important historical documents that illustrate the awesome power of nature, the courage of the individual, the determination of a community and the resilience of the human spirit. Much has been lost, but much also will be found. For it is in our darkest hour when our true nature is often revealed.