INNER CALM ~ The Baltics
Inner Calm is a gentle reminder to steal ourselves away for a quiet moment to gather one’s thoughts and remember the many things we should be grateful for. Late one afternoon, while wandering along the Baltic shoreline, I came upon this truly magical setting. I thought the symmetry of the pier lined by the old-fashioned lampposts made for a perfect composition. A commercial fishing boat was making its way back to the harbor and with it, a flock of seabirds followed in tow. As the storm clouds began to coalesce overhead, the sun’s light was quickly fading. For just an instant, a beautiful soft light fell upon the pier casting a perfect shadow of the woman and her umbrella. In a matter of seconds, I reeled off a dozen snaps and then the moment had passed. An almost unimaginable confluence of events came together that afternoon to create the Zen-like photo I’ve titled, “Inner Calm.”
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.