Life and death are inevitable in this world. We rejoice in the former and do our best to avoid or put off the latter. When a child is born we celebrate; when death comes we mourn. While we wish we could control the number of our days here on earth, the truth is we can’t. But with camera in hand, how we see those points of beginning and end changes. They are but moments in all their glory, especially in the realm of nature. In that moment when the shutter first clicked and recorded the hawk and its trophy, the camera saw both the perpetuation of one life, and the demise of another; the two irrevocably connected forever in that one picture. Such a powerful tool in such inept hands! As I’ve replayed those moments in my mind I have come to the realization that I will never really control life or death in the physical realm. Just because I put a bird feeder out each day it does not mean that the birds could never exist without it. But while I cannot control nature, I can control my camera and in the artistic realm, I do, in an ideological way, have some sense of power over life and death, but only through the snap of a shutter. Recognizing this has given me a greater sense of respect for both life and death. And while capturing that cycle shared between the captor and his prey the other morning may not have been pleasant, it was a privilege to witness and record it.
Ann H. LeFevre
February 16, 2018