As I close my eyes in a place far away from windswept mountains and rushing streams, the day dream builds in my imagination like a storm, flashes of sights and sounds from a place stuck in the corner or left out of most maps. As I convert my Attu photos to black and white, I can hear the complex musical song of the Winter Wren raining down from the cliffs along Gilbert Ridge. My careful preservation of pixels as rocks and raindrops might help others to realize what a mysterious and fragile world we live in.
I've converted some of my images from Attu into black and white to replicate the historical images I've seen in books documenting the war in Alaska during WWII, when only black and white photographs captured the timeless beauty and texture of a land dotted with snow and sky. Viewing my photos in black and white somehow links me with these days gone by, when the runways were bustling with wartime activity and soldiers washed their hands after a long cold day outside. Turning my images into monochromatic snapshots helps me understand that this is, in fact the same place all of that history unfolded. Many lives were changed by the events that transpired here, just as my life was changing as I scaled mountains, crossed streams, reflecting and examining my own heart.
Now others can look through my lens at the rugged beauty of this island, the black and white tempting the mind's eye to fill in the color- making the landscape come to life, to imagine what it would be like to sink into the wet tundra and smell the sweet aroma of summer wildflowers. Maybe a seed has been planted inside your thought, to get out and explore the vistas of your dreams.