ICELANDIC IMPRESSIONS ~ Mount Vestrahorn.
Where the land meets the sea, there’s often a great sense of calmness and serenity. As a landscape photographer, I feel fortunate to have traveled to some of the most uniquely beautiful coastlines across all seven continents. Iceland is among my most favorite which is where you’ll find Mount Vestrahorn. Standing nearly 1,500 feet tall along Iceland’s southern coast it appears unusually dark because the rock is rich in iron and magnesium. The dusting of snow along its jagged peaks enhances the contrast, adding to the 3-dimensional quality of the image. I knew the reflection would be a key element to my final image, but the high winds seemed endless. Finally, the weather calmed and I set-up my camera and tripod and patiently waited for just the right light. As the sun gradually made its way towards the horizon, the clouds began to separate, and the sky lit up with the most amazing hues. It was an awe-inspiring, almost surreal view and a truly stunning moment in time.
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.