I did 30 photo shoots while I was in Iceland, so we can’t really expect the images to let up quickly, right? This is another image from Iceland, and what a brilliant day it was. Our group arrived at this famous site very eager to create, but even more eager to eat. So we cooked in our campers before shooting while I ran ahead and tested the safety of the little bridges that seemed to be created just for us to take pictures with.
When we all saw the location as a group, it was overwhelming. The weather was perfect, with storm clouds rolling in the air, never letting a drop of water out, and vast, insurmountable scenes that only Iceland can produce. I wanted a picture out on the natural pathway, the bridge to nowhere.
The wind whipped at us, as we had grown accustomed to, but nothing can prepare you for a climb out on a rickety ledge in a billowing satin dress. The gusts were harsh, and as it caught my dress I looked down at just the wrong moment, feeling every second of the drop below. I decided it would be best to crawl out since my dress was pulling me so hard. The satin was a poor choice. As I knelt down the fabric was slippery, and my knees and feet were caught on it as I tried to make my way to the edge. In reality it wasn’t a very long way, but it felt winding.
I tried some images laying on the ledge and some standing, but in the end, standing there with the wind pulling at my dress, it felt right. I knew what I was creating, where the story was going, and how to tell it. This is my bliss. This is how I know I am doing what I am meant to do. Creating. Storytelling. Sharing.
It took me a while to edit this image when I got back. I remember creating it and thinking that it was the easiest image I had taken thus far. I knew exactly what I wanted from it, and I could already tell I really liked it. So why, then, did I put it away in a folder on a hard drive and refuse to look at it when I returned? I started fearing I’d never have the motivation to edit it – that it would be one of those images that stays hidden forever, for some unexplained reason. And yes, I have many of them.
I realized, after months of being home from that trip, what it was. I had loved the image so much. Loved the shoot so much. Knew just what I wanted from the image. And in finishing it, that day would be over. A memory captured in that image. Nothing more to go back to, nothing to look forward to. It was like closing a chapter on a day that I loved so much.
But upon editing it, I felt empowered. I relived the magic of that moment. I could feel the wind at my back, pushing me onward to the edge of the bridge to nowhere. And I embraced it. I let those emotions sweep over me. I felt a rush of bliss.
It wasn’t until I was putting this video together that I realized the impact of what I was creating. I went searching for music and came across this song by Message to Bears which touched me so deeply, I felt as though it was the perfect punctuation to a long and elated sentence. It gave the image more meaning. It gave the image life.
Throw it down, look away,
Don’t be scared, it’s okay.
Settle down, set it right,
Don’t be scared, it’s alright.
To have memories that we cherish, to have images to remember them by… Life is constantly growing all around us, and I am content – radiantly happy, even – to sway with it. Let it move as it will, and I’ll create with it as well as I can. Walk out onto the ledge, reach for what you want. Every storm has an eye, every fear a beacon of hope. So settle down, set it right, don’t be scared, it’s alright.
Margherita Introna - Brooke, this image filled me with so much joy today! I so love it for so many reasons. Much of what you have written here resonates with me. I also had to laugh as I am still processing images from my Europe trip a year ago 😉 It fills me with so much joy to travel back like that! The fear you described here is so real – I feel that every time I need to work on an image. It is like something holds one back… and yet when one begins you feel the magic and power fill your heart. Beautiful, powerful image that truly touched me.
Jennifer Kapala - I love Joshua Hyslop’s “Living and Dying” – there is such a quiet intensity to it that inspires me:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gzC5EytBw0&feature=iv&src_vid=HqX9LgMMcNU&annotation_id=annotation_2828225849
Lilian Dibbern - This image is amazing!
Music is my main-source of inspiration. I always listen to music when I create something, and sometimes I even try to use the lyrics. One of my favourite artists is Sleeping at Last. I used their song Jupiter for one of my images some weeks ago.
“Make my messes matter
make this chaos count
Let every little Fracture in me
Shatter out loud”
I think this is very inspring.
Right now I listen to some Hans Zimmer music, to find inspiration for another shot.
Your images are truly inspiring! I love your work!
Scott Ungerecht - Hi, Brooke! All I can say is wow! What a beautiful and powerful image! I am a 42-year-old professional photographer who lives in Baker City, Oregon and I’ve been practicing the art of photography since 2004. I really love watching your videos on YouTube and watching your weekly video series on this blog to find new inspiration for my own work. I first stumbled upon your videos on YouTube purely by accident last week while searching for videos on photography inspiration. What I love best about your weekly inspirations and photography is how beautiful, confident, courageous, inventive and original they both are. Thank you for sharing your talents, your photography and your inspirations with the rest of us. As for what kinds of music inspires me to create and perfectly matches my own vision, I love listening to Japanese instrumental music, classic Christian gospel songs, and the original sound track to Lonesome Dove. Yes, I know that sounds a little odd, but these melodies all have this magical-effect to transport me and my imagination to see in my mind new possibilities as a photographer. And when I combine that with what I have already learned from watching your videos, then I can see my photography reaching new heights of exploration and artistic wonderment. Thank you so much for everything you do, Brooke, and please keep sharing with us your weekly inspirations. Thank you!
Amani - I love this image! Watching the editing video, with that song, made me feel like I’m in the picture. I love it.
There’s a new album that just came out by a band called Atreyu, and there’s one song in it that I find so inspiring. It’s called Moments Before Dawn (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YOgAAR_Jxo) and the weird part is that it’s not the lyrics that I find inspiring, just the intro of the song. It’s haunting, sad, and also a little creepy. And beautiful.
FIT BMX - Wonderful image, it is really great. I love the scenery of these Iceland photos, it is just really an incredible place.
As for songs, I am all over the place! LOL When listening to music while editing (I listen to a LOT of books) it’s everything from Metallica, Jim Croce, to Johnny Cash, and everything inbetween. 🙂
I find books inspire me even more than music, the book “The Woman In White” was every inspiring for a carving I was working on.
Can’t wait to see more photos from Iceland!
Thanks for another great post,
Delesa - Just. Hug. You.