I first discovered Tumblr through this photo. I had uploaded it to Flickr and after a while started to notice a lot of traffic coming from a website called Tumblr. I was surprised, and a little gratified, to see so many people sharing it when I clicked though the links.
The picture was taken halfway through a journey from the Greenland icecap down to the east coast. It’s not far, 3-4 days, but it was a journey we never planned to make. Nonetheless, it ended up being the highlight of what was meant to be a climbing expedition and it ignited a love of wilderness travel that persists today through climbing, ski mountaineering and offshore sailing.
I took this with my first ever digital camera, a 4MP Pentax if I remember correctly. I knew nothing about light, composition, the rule of thirds, exposure, anything. I put it on the simplest auto setting and snapped away. Most of my photos from this trip, to my mind, have an air of photographic innocence about them — there is no attempt to create beautiful pictures, only to record what I saw and experienced. Today, when I look at this picture I know that photographically it’s probably the best I took that trip, but there are many others that I actually prefer because they better capture a moment in my mind or a relationship with a climbing partner.
I guess there’s photography for others, where your picture acts as a work of art, representing concepts or evoking an emotion in the mind of a stranger, and there’s photography for you, where the ‘best’ photo evokes emotions in yourself despite being out of focus with a wonky horizon and a fogged lens!
So thanks to eatluvtravel for finding and sharing my picture and introducing me to Tumblr. And thanks to everyone who has enjoyed it and passed it on!
Travelling through Greenland by Alex Cowan on Flickr.