Storm Clouds & Icebergs & Wolves, Oh My!
October 20, 2012
Born in 1969 to a Native American father from the Shinnecock tribe and to an African American mother, it was Camille’s experiences growing up spending hours playing in the woods or at the shore with her cousins that began to pixelate the picture-perfect calling of a life destined to be spent behind a lens.
Camille attended the State University of New York at Purchase where she studied photography, but it wasn’t until she was 32 that a passion was awakened in her to communicate her experience on this earth and to ‘show the beauty and interconnectedness of everything’ through the eye of a camera.
Camille’s photographs of clouds and icebergs have found homes in great publications such as the National Geographic, Time, The New York Times Sunday, Newsweek and Outside, to name a few. She also has received many awards including a top honour in 2008 with her solo exhibition, ‘The Last Iceberg’, at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, which focused on the delicate environment of the Polar Regions.
What makes Camille’s photographs special is that she limits the amount of editing by not using a photo if it takes over a minute to retouch, as well as not using any filters, contrast or saturation to augment or alter the photo in order to maintain the integrity of the image. There are moments where nature develops a type of composure, whether that’s the calm before the storm or the stillness of the ocean where an over 100ft glowing iceberg sleeps, that allows for Camille, with heightened observation to capture the subject in its most striking state with the help of mother nature’s natural lighting demonstrating the inherent pulchritude of nature as itself, raw an unfettered.
This level of artistry requires heightened patience, with emotions and instinct playing a major role in capturing the perfect picture. ‘When the emotion is present, whatever the emotion might be I then question what is making me feel this way, it is only then I raise the camera to my eye and use it as a sort of geiger counter moving the camera around as I look through the viewfinder until I hone in on the source of what is causing the emotion in me.’
Her hope in capturing icebergs and clouds in its gaudy exquisiteness is to have people awed into consciousness over the importance of developing a sustainable attitude and consciousness towards our interconnectedness to nature and how we affect it and it affects us. She explains during the Look3 festival of the photograph, ‘People need to be reminded that we will not survive as a species. We do not operate separate from this eco-system that we call earth. We’re very much integrated and if anything we have shown how much we do affect it, whether it’s an oil spill or an extinction of species due to something that we did. It’s something that we should be aware of it.’
Her latest project involves photographing captive wolves and wolf hybrids, subjects that are neither wild nor domesticated, in order to bring awareness and to start a discourse about what it means to be wild and what motivates humans to interfere with these two worlds.