My feet, wrapped uncomfortably in my slippery flip-flops, step awkwardly through the wet rain forest grass. The faint light of my headlamp guides me along the narrow trail which drops faster than the straps on my footwear seem prepared to handle. Around me everything is silent. Even the bats, it seems, have decided to that a reprieve from their night hunts. I look around me at the thick jungle wall that appears black in the pre-dawn light before breaking free and onto the dirt road that loops around Ometepe Island. The moon hangs high in the sky forcing its white light through the clouds and creates a glistening light across this beautiful lake. I step out onto the unfinished cement pier and set up my tripod and camera in the pre-morning dark.
As I wait for the morning light to arrive I pace back and forth on the pier in boredom searching for a reason as to why I do this. I should be asleep in my warm bed below the protection of a mosquito net and a light blanket. I swat a fly from my ankle before sitting down, my legs dangling freely over the edge of the pier.
I begin to reflect on my journey, on love, and on life in general before realizing that I’m so tired my mind wont remember any of these realizations in a couple hours. In a distance I hear howler monkeys beating their morning drums warning those who have gotten too close. Behind me a rooster’s call rings out through the fog of the morning reminding me that the morning light is near.
Like the plot of a good movie beginning to reveal itself, the clouds begin to appear rippling through the iridescent blue sky. In the distance a volcano appears in the light as well smothered by a thick layer of icing or clouds. I set my eye deep into the cavity of my camera’s sight before realizing that my camera has become my greatest companion on this adventure. I adjust and begin to release the camera’s every exploring eye-sight into the morning haze.
As the light hardens I pack up my gear, toss it lightly over my shoulders and trot by up the hill to my hotel refuge with the thought of sleep and only sleep on my mind. But as I enter the room and set my gear on the chair that rocks along side my bed my curiosity can’t help but wonder what I’ve captured, if the mood I hoped to portray developed. I flip the LCD screen of my camera on and look down at the image I’ve created. A smile widens across my dry mouth. With satisfaction I can’t help but think “that’s why I forced myself from the comfort of my bed, I’ve captured my own imagination in digital form; I’ve captured my mood in the form of a photo.”
My eyes begin to wander off to sleep as I realize that the reasons I travel are the same as the reasons I wake up in the morning to photograph. When we force ourselves to climb out of the box of comfort we so often live in, we begin to see the world in a different light. We begin to live out our dreams, and press our imagination to build an exciting reality. When we force ourselves from the comfortable blankets of our morning lives we soon realize that there is a whole wold out there to be discovered and a light so often left uncaptured.