My photography is both biography and philosophy. The Himalayas have a similar twin aspect and appeal that draws me to them: adventure and spirit.
Trekking in the high altitude environment, far beyond the last road, where electricity does not reach and where what you grow is what you have, is like entering a diorama at a museum of natural history. Beyond this human drama lies the iconic, majestic, noble, dignified, and remote mountains, or sculptures of earth, which celebrate some magnificent mystery or grand power far greater than any other.
The very air that envelops the mountainous landscape possesses an undeniable aura of spirit. With no sound but the wind and six or eight hours walking per day, one slowly sorts out the earworms, resolves or discards as insignificant issues that pertain to a life in a different place, and quells the inner dialogue. Over time, the mind empties, allowing stillness and quietude to emerge. This is the spiritual austerity that has drawn ascetics and wisdom seekers to this remote place for millennia. This is what has drawn me.
My images attempt to portray the quiet majesty and sacred nature of this place.
A Note on Technique
I started out photographing in the mountains with the 35mm camera and Kodachrome film but considered the compression of a 12,000 rock wall to a single square inch of film to be too reductionist, so I switched to 8”x10” format, black and white film, which can be processed and printed in my own darkroom. At full resolution, the 8”x10” scans to a 400 plus MB digital file, so it is still higher resolution than any single frame digital technology available. For more information and images, visit JeffBotz.org.
by Still Harbor