PACIFIC WONDERS ~ Scripps Memorial Pier ~ La Jolla, California
Patterns are to photography just as rhythm is to music. Patterns create order from chaos. If you repeat something once or twice, it becomes more interesting. If you repeat something many more times, it becomes a pattern and begins to take on a life of its own. Without the limitation of just a single focal point, repetition helps your eye move from point to point, exploring more of the image. At the Scripps Memorial Pier, the repeating columns and archways beautifully exemplifies this concept as your eye travels further and further towards infinity. One late December afternoon, a rare Southern California lightning storm passed through the area. The clouds were moving swiftly and the light was also changing fast. I quickly made my way to the pier, composed my shot and then set up my tripod. As the light beneath the pier began to glow, I snapped the shutter on my camera and knew I had captured a truly magical 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.