What is Soft is Strong

O-LN_Mike_Banks_Merritts-Creek-2

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”

Tao Te Ching – The Teachings of Lao Tzu

I call this image “Serenity”. The subtle tones of greens, yellows, greys and naturals evoke a feeling of calmness and serenity. The sound of the water flowing in the creek and its softness to touch is a paradox to its strength and consistency over time. These are places that I feel my true self – at ease and at one with nature. Its these feelings and emotions I attempt to capture with my photography. I hope this image brings these emotions within in you as well. This image was shot in Thredbo Village, Kosciuszko National Park along a picturesque section of lower Merritt’s Creek.

Encrusted

Mike Banks Snow Gum 2 sRGB 1600px V2

Camera/Lens: Canon S95, 28-105mm f2-8.0

Theres something special about early morning in the high alpine in winter. The stillness and quietness is soul cleansing and a fresh blanket of snow gives a sense of newness and fragility. Theres nothing like clipping into your skis and making your own tracks in the pristine snow.

On this occasion a few centremetes of snow overnight along with the thaw from above zero temperatures the day before covered the snowgums with a thin layer of ice. It was a stunning scene when we peered out of the tent in the morning. Travelling light, I only had my little point and shoot Canon S95. It’s a wonderful little camera that shoots 10 Megapixel Raw images and has a minimum aperture of f2. It fits easily into a pocket so it is with me almost always – great to shoot anything from the kids to landscapes.

Bogong Creek

Bogong Creek

Camera/Lens: Linhof Technorama 617S III, Schneider 90mm Super Angulon
Film: Fuji Acros 100

I spend a lot of time backcountry skiing in this area with friends so don’t usually have the time to photograph. This is a great place close to Thredbo resort where you can ski untracked snow while the resort is all chopped up. As it faces south, is protected from the south west winds by big peaks and is in a hollow the temperatures here stay cold which keeps the snow light, dry and deep. We usually have all this great snow to ourselves.

I’ve always thought the dead snowgums with their shadows on the snow and the snow contours in the creek would make for a great black and white image. On this occasion I found a nice campsite amongst the snowgums and skied down to the creek to shoot in the early morning.