Roger Merchant Photography
Some notes on Photograhy...
My inspiration comes from wild nature and rural life found among Maine’s peaks and valleys. Traveling alone
in quiet woodlands is often a paddle and hike journey, one that reveals powerful moments, uncovering
deeper beauty and artistic possibility to my human eye, mind and heart.
I walk floodplains, paddle rivers and lakes, hike mountains, bush-whack ridges to access remote outcrops.
Lines on a USGS map or aerial photograph provide clues about where to go - what to look for. Why
here, not there? Place-based knowledge, plus a well-honed forester's instincts coupled to light
and weather suggests to me, go here, now! Yet, inspired beauty can be easily found behind
the house on our two and one-half acre pine-fir-maple-aspen forest.
In my life, I’ve lived near strip mines, rural sprawl and shopping malls, tobacco farms, rolling clearcuts
and wind farm arrays marching to distant horizons. Humans, so tangled up in drive-by-digitized
recording, often fail to see the forest and the trees. Do we stop-look-listen long enough to consider the
immediate beams of natural light, little things like the snake in the grass, or where the dark of
night might actually be, unpopulated by blinking red lights and the whirl of commerce all night long?
Outlying remote lands are disappearing fast from all points on the comapss. Will my cherished discovered
places along streams through the forest be here long after I've left this life? Or will progress carelessly pave over, light
up and noise-ify all I have come to know as beautiful, wild Maine? Nature and the people of the Maine Woods
remain my most intimate known sense of person and place. Indeed, this is my inspiring sanctuary.
This I know to be true… The emergence of beauty comes from immersion, when we step deeper into the
woods and waters, where we sense and feel the beauty around us and within us being humanly alive. The late
Galen Rowell opened this door for me, “don’t leave when the sun sets. Hang out in that long fleeting hour of
magic light, ‘till the purple dusk fades to black'.” This is why I'm here, packing up for another out of truck - off the
trail journey, deeper into the Maine Woods, to touch and feel and and experience whatever
my human eye, mind and heart might encounter
along these paths less traveled.
--- Roger Merchant
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