The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. (Dorothea Lange)
I couldn’t agree more. This statement can be interpreted in many ways. Having some experience with photography, one may be noticing more details in their surroundings, or pay more attention to the mood of a place rather than the detail, or just become more observant in general.
I have always been sensitive to visual messages, not only those coming from art, but also from Nature. And what Nature tells us now has never been more important.
My photography used to be a travel log where I would collect some photographic memories from visited places; it also expressed my admiration of nature, flowers in particular. This probably led to noticing more detail and so making close-up images of various natural subjects, such as rocks or ice. In recent years, through my images, I have been trying to convey the mood of a place or a subject rather than its actual appearance. Intentional Camera Movement and Multiple Exposure in camera are the techniques which I find very useful in achieving this goal. I also like working on a theme, as this gives me a defined purpose of making images.
At the moment, I am involved in two photographic projects. One is to capture the beauty of glaciers, bring them closer to us, make them more familiar and evoke stronger feelings of the need to protect them. To do this I travelled to Vatnajökull National Park, the largest ice cap in Iceland, and to the UNESCO site of Ilulissat Glacier in Greenland. I wrote some articles about my encounter with glaciers in Iceland. One article is published by the Artists and Climate Change Forum .
In 2021, one of my images from a glacial cave in Iceland was shown in the Manchester Science and Industry Museum during the on-line exhibition of the Science Photographer of the Year, organized together with the Royal Photographic Society. The message of the image is to connect the history of climate trapped in the ice of the glacier with scientific methods of modelling the climate changes over the millennia.
My website’s gallery “Glaciers: vanishing beauty” shows a selection of my images made in Iceland and Greenland.
The other project started during lockdown, when my photography was restricted to the close vicinity of our house. For some time now, I have been creating a small meadow around the house, and my observations of the biodiversity the meadow has been bringing prompted me to start the project. On the west side of the house, the meadow glows with warm colours in the setting sun. The view is stunning and the colours hot. My purpose is not to show all the wildflowers in their detail, but to convey a feeling of warmth and happiness the meadow, even such a small one, can bring.
It is well known that not only woodlands, but also grasslands can trap carbon. So, there is another benefit in addition to helping some recovery of biodiversity. In November 2021, I published an article  on this project in the ICM Photography Magazine, special environmental issue, created to bring active awareness to environmental concerns through photography, coinciding with the COP26 Climate Change conference in Glasgow. My website's gallery "Meadows" shows a selection of images resulting from this work.
Both projects continue.
Barbara Bogacka (Basia)
Associate of the Royal Photographic Society