Horizon & Light

The horizon can be hard and distinct or soft and obscure, yet it’s always there and is the universal line between heaven and earth. There’s something fascinating about it – compelling in fact – especially at certain times of day like sunrise, sunset, first light or last light. At these times, the horizon becomes a crack between worlds and we’re drawn to look more deeply. Living on an island the most obvious horizon to look into, of course, involves the ocean. But the majority of these images were looking into the mountains, the Ko‘olau, in fact.

For awhile now, I’ve been fascinated with very wide aspect ratios. I’m not really sure why, but it seems that nearly all the visual art I’ve done in the past couple of years has been very wide. During this time, I started taking the photographs that came from my digital camera and purposefully cropping them at a specific 3:1 aspect ratio. Sometimes, that still didn’t seem to be wide enough (as noted in a couple of these images). While cropping photographs in this manner might seem suspect, I found that restricting myself to the same ratio of 3:1 gave enough structure to provide a specific form while satisfying my secret desire to have a camera that actually shoots in a 3:1 aspect ratio.

Even though I live on a tropical island and the weather tends to be consistent from day to day and month to month, throughout each day, the light is always changing in some of the most amazing ways. While this is true all over the island, I found the horizon line with the mountains and the sky to be the most interesting, perhaps because there was often the additional factor of the clouds and weather, which is often more dramatic over the mountains. Even though all these images conformed to a wide aspect ratio (similar to a panorama), they actually represent only detail of the horizon (just the opposite of a panorama!). These images were taken with a long focal length lens (almost exclusively 200mm) and then cropped even narrower in some cases to represent quite a narrow field of view.