December 2, 2023
Behind the Shot: Journey to an Ancient Mountain

Chris Rainier’s Photograph

Excessive within the Taurus Mountains in central Turkey are the traditional cemeteries of the kings and queens of the Commagene Kingdom. Ever since I used to be a baby, I dreamed of going to those historical lands and photographing the two,000-year-old ruins blown by the wind on Mount Nemrud.

Greater than 40 years in the past, after ending work as Ansel Adams’ assistant pictures, I launched into an journey of researching and photographing sacred websites around the globe. I name them “energy factors”, they’re both pure landscapes or spiritual religious locations the place there’s something highly effective, magical, an vitality that evokes a life pressure that connects the whole lot within the universe. No matter it’s described, I’ve traveled in quest of the sacred from Tibet to the Aboriginal lands of Australia, from the icebergs of Antarctica to the volcanoes of Iceland.

Through the years, I realized to be affected person, to seek out the correct gentle, the correct second to {photograph} these locations. Well-known photographic poet Minor White as soon as stated, “Decelerate till the item you discover confirms its existence.” I took this critically and slowed down significantly for essentially the most half and hung out on land, studying concerning the seasons, studying from the sunshine, and ultimately started photographing many locations within the chic silver-gray gentle of the complete moon. I’d design my total journey expertise to be in a robust place on the full moon.

These journeys took me to the Taj Mahal, to the Moai statues on Easter Island, and to spend the night time on the historical Kiva settlements within the Southwest desert of america, to expertise this exceptional monument and its white marble façades that shimmer within the moonlight. Adams noticed that whether or not you are photographing an individual or a panorama, your picture high quality is straight proportional to the standard of your relationship with the topic. I imagine this is essential to my pictures – giving myself the present of spending time on land and feeling the ability of the place up shut.

I dreamed of getting permission to go to Mount Nemrud, however for many years it was troublesome for foreigners to succeed in Turkey. The chance lastly got here true when the borders started to slowly open after the pandemic final yr. Turkey is situated on the crossroads of East and West. I discovered a exceptional nation with an historical tradition, fascinating landscapes, type and open individuals, an integral a part of commerce on the Silk Street connecting the Far East to Europe.

I arrived in Turkey earlier than the complete moon and spent a number of days exploring historical ruins in quest of the right spot to be bathed in a mysterious gentle. On a full moon day, I spent the night time doing exposures, wanting to seek out the correct steadiness of sunshine to make the ruins glow with a way of holiness, a way of thriller. With the completion of this imaginative and prescient, my journey to the divine was about to come back to an finish.

After a number of hundred pictures, hundreds of miles and many years of exploration, it was time to publish the images in a guide and accumulate my very own ideas in addition to the writings of a number of the world’s nice thinkers and specialists on the which means of “holiness.” my guide, SACRED, Will probably be printed by Earth Conscious Editions in October 2022.

See extra of Chris Rainier’s work at:

Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, Gitzo tripod. Publicity: 1/30 sec., ƒ/18, ISO 1000.

Behind the Shot: Journey to an Historical Mountain was initially printed in Out of doors Photographer.

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