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Judith Linders

 

When I was in my early thirties I took long walks with my father in the countryside in Brabant. I thought that was wonderful and there was so much beauty to see. How light fell on the landscape, dramatic clouds, a serene, misty landscape. I loved walking in all those landscapes and conditions, it gave me a feeling of breathing space and freedom.

Slowly the desire arose to photograph the beauty I saw. I bought an SLR camera and started taking photographs. I did that a lot for a while, but gradually I got swallowed up by work and study and daily life and eventually I didn't photograph for years.

About seven years ago, during a difficult time in my life, I bought a digital camera on impulse. I wanted to start taking photographs again. Since then, photography has become an indispensable part of my life.

 

As a human being I thoroughly enjoy beauty. Beauty in art, especially painting, beauty in (classical) music and beauty in nature. I'm not a big art or music expert, that's for sure. My reaction to paintings and music is often an emotional one. I am captivated by atmosphere or colour or a certain meaning in paintings. When it comes to music, my preference is for melody. I love Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schubert, all composers who composed beautiful melodies. Atmosphere in a painting and in music, but also in nature, is important to me. A fellow photographer called me romantic. I can agree with that.

 

William Blake begins his poem Auguries of Innocence with the following lines:

"To see a world in a grain of sand 

And a heaven in a wild flower 

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand 

And eternity in an hour" 

These lines fit very well with how I experience my connection to nature. Being in nature is something magical and mysterious for me. It is a world in which many things live and happen unseen. Sometimes I catch something of that, for example when I was sitting on a bench in the woods for a while and saw mice. Or when I met the fox. But it also remains elusive and I love that.

In my photography I try to show something of the connection I feel, of the magic, of the beauty and the atmosphere. 

In my photography you see a lot of me as a person. My images are often dreamy, atmospheric and radiate tranquility. A comforting aloneness. They are calm and quiet. I use few harsh contrasts and always look for balance in my images. 

Through photography I learned to see better. Watching, that's the motto. Initially, seeing better served the purpose of photography and I looked to make a better composition and capture light well. To take a more beautiful images. But gradually, through seeing, I also learned to appreciate nature more. And after appreciation came the wonder and admiration. Nature is rich and varied and is so incredibly ingenious.

 

This has meant that as a photographer I always strive not to disturb the nature in which I find myself. Not to leave anything behind. It is important to prioritise nature over my photos. Even if that one, really cool photo has to be taken right there, too far from the path, and it is not allowed to go off that path. Very frustrating sometimes, but then I don't take the photo. I use the he principles of Nature First as a guideline.

Would you like to know more about my development as a photographer, or about my thoughts on nature (photography)? Or do you like getting tips about books on nature-related topics? Then take a look at the “Writing” page. 

"Going to the woods is going home"
John Muir

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