COASTAL SPLENDOR ~ Mangrove trees on the island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia.
Walakiri Beach is nestled on the island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia, about 1.5 hours by air from Bali. Without a doubt, one of the more Zen seascapes on the planet. Timing the weather and the tides is key. During high tide, much of the magic is lost. As the water recedes a bit, the graceful silhouettes of the mangrove trees twist like ballet dancers creating beautiful reflections in the calm waters. While there are a myriad of wonderful compositions to be found, this particular, almost familial grouping of trees captured my attention. I setup my tripod and waited. As the clouds swirled overhead, I opted for a long exposure to create a greater sense of movement in the frame. When the shutter snapped, I was awe-struck by what I had captured.
ARTIST STATEMENT: As though by a magnet, I’ve always felt the world pulling me, luring me to explore its mysteries and wonder. For a long time, I put my dreams on hold. Then one day in my practice as a radiologist, I met a patient whose journey would forever change my outlook.
In the Fall of 2006, a man came to me with a nagging discomfort in his chest. At 38 years old, he was so young that I thought surely it must be something benign or otherwise inconsequential. In a matter of a few short hours, his CT scan revealed that he was suffering from terminal lung cancer. His story is a reminder to us all that each day must be viewed as a very special gift.
I’ve witnessed hundreds of patients whose lives have been abruptly changed by a life-altering or life-ending diagnosis. At times we may convince ourselves that we are immortal, and that cancer or some other catastrophe only affects others, but we have no guarantees in this life. Time is too short to get lost in a blur of days, weeks, and months.
And so, I began to think more seriously about all those overseas adventures waiting for me, and soon enough, I grabbed my camera and voyaged to all 7 continents. I’ve observed Tibetan monks in prayer, hiked up the Virunga mountains of Rwanda to marvel at the Silverback gorillas in their natural habitat, and watched Bengal tigers cool off in a shallow lake to escape India’s searing heat.
I’ve met people, young and old, who have lived amazing yet ordinary lives. Along the way, I’ve spent several decades honing my craft as a portrait photographer. Whether I’m making candid images of women immersed in prayer in Abu Dhabi or portraits of television actors in my Venice Beach studio, I’ve continuously sought to capture life’s fragility and beauty.
There are no rewinds in life, so find the time to discover your inspiration, explore the extraordinary, create the unimaginable, and then leave nothing on the table.
~ Harv Greenberg, M.D.