Monday, June 27, 2011

Elephant Drinking, Amboseli 2007. Killed by Poachers, 2009.

If someone has not said it to you yet, welcome to Earth.  Here we have a veritable cornucopia of climates, cultures, geographical marvels, natural colors, and opportunity.  Whether you set foot into a bustling metropolis like New York City, walk through a forest of 1000 year old trees like Redwood National Park, or brave arid, migrating sand dunes like the Sossusvlei Dunes of Southern Namibia, you are sure to experience life and nature in all their majesty.  Yes, Planet Earth is an incredible place to reside and on behalf of all that brings peace, creates awe, and floods the senses with inspiration, intrigue, and hope, I'm delighted to make your acquaintance and pray you will enjoy your stay.

(I felt it was time to take a break from all the negativity and sorrow from all that surrounds us on a daily basis.  For the most part, I think we've all had enough of the partisan bickering, over-hyped media, doom-saying, and selfish demands for attention.  It's about time we take a moment to soak up what makes living on Earth a blessing and an incredible fact to behold.  Pushing aside man-made nonsense, my hope is this particular entry will bring you comfort, a sense of humility, and wonderment.  And to reiterate this notion, please, by all means, share something amazing in the comments below.  I have visitors from all over the globe who come to my page and of all the entries I've completed, this one in particular is meant to garner reaction.  If you would be so kind, take a moment to jot down your thoughts or memories that coincide with how magnificent it is to be an Earthling.)

© 2011 Nick Brandt. All Rights Reserved.

Elephant Drinking, Amboseli 2007.  Killed by Poachers, 2009. by Nick Brandt (1966-) is a sepia toned black and white photo of an African Bush Elephant taking a much needed sip of water.  Snapped along the banks of an unknown water source in the Amboseli National Park in Southern Kenya, the largest land mammal on the planet has been captured in fantastic detail.  Through careful focus and processing, the majesty of this creature is vividly portrayed and gives the viewer a deep sense of awe and singularity.  Despite his many years and imperfections, and though he stands with ears protectively cocked to monitor for danger, he seems to be entranced by the moment and in his ability to freely quench his thirst.

The qualities that make this an award winning photo are relative but here is what I've come to appreciate:  As stated above, the jaw-dropping detail!  Wow!  Brandt clearly has an eye for capturing moments where nature collides into an amalgamation of life and element and at the most poetic moment possible.  It is absolutely appropriate that this photo be toned and processed as it has and despite not being a photographer or photographic genius, I can say that there is nothing left anyone could have done to package up as much emotion and statement as this picture has.  Frankly, I'm a bit ashamed I am unable to describe how amazing this photo is and makes me feel.  Crudely put, though, it has caused me to completely disregard the latest goings on and news that have plagued my internet searches for months.  This photo has pushed me away from repeated distractions of negativity to remembering how lucky I am to live on this planet; how humbling it is to be one of billions of living creatures all unique, expressive, and special in their own way.

When was the last time you marveled at the world around you?  It's a fairly simple process and with so many choices, it's not hard to find a resource that will help you remember how sublime it is to be a resident of Earth.  Just in case you were wondering, and other than taking full advantage of the internet, here are some of the resources I regularly enjoy:  Google Earth (I've lost countless hours zooming in and out on various regions of the planet and absolutely love this free program), documentaries (typically via Netflix, I will watch just about anything but thoroughly enjoy David Attenborough and National Geographic), and Wikipedia (is there no end to what is collaboratively documented on this site!?).  You don't need to use these and as a matter of fact, I would much more prefer if you and I could experience this stuff first hand!  But no matter how you gain perspective on how wonderful life is and can be, I hope you will at least take a moment to now.  And don't forget to share!

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