We asked photographer Jim Newberry to share his thoughts on finding peace during desolate times. The botanical life that fills the place he most recently considers home has provided a welcome respite.
California is on fire, there’s a depraved lunatic in the White House, and the entire planet is suffering through not only a devastating pandemic but also the increasingly likely prospect of planetary devastation as a result of climate change. One of the few things that keeps me from jumping off a bridge is the inspiring beauty of Southern California’s incredible botanical life.
Hiking along one of L.A.’s ubiquitous and beautiful hiking trails, away from cars and highways and billboards and shopping malls, much of the anxiety and despair subsides; somehow there’s a glimmer of hope, or at least indifference to the horrors of life in 2020. I moved to Los Angeles from Chicago six years ago, and continue to be amazed and enchanted by the plants and flowers and trees here.
The challenge in photographing a flower or mountain or sunset, is to create an image in a way that transcends the obvious postcard picture. With my nature images I’m scratching the surface and peering deeper, hoping to reveal at least a hint of the poetic magic that radiates from these living things.