Every day nonstop for over 30 years, Louie Schwartzberg has photographed time’s miraculous interplay with nature. A pioneer of high-end time-lapse cinematography—and the son of Holocaust survivors—Schwartzberg “bends the boundaries of time and space.”
Beauty and seduction are nature’s tools for survival because we protect what we fall in love with.
As a visual artist, Schwartzberg focuses on connections between humans and the subtleties of the natural environment. He says that beauty and seduction are nature’s tools for survival because we protect what we fall in love with. When people see his photographs, Schwartzberg says, they often exclaim, “Oh my God!” It’s a phrase I blurted out innumerable times when I first encountered the outrageous beauty of the North.
In 2003, LW, our two sons and I drove from our home in Victoria, BC, to Dawson City, Yukon, with a side trip to Skagway, Alaska. We drove north on the Alaska Highway through Dawson Creek and south, on our return trip, on the Cassiar highway through the vast Spatsizi wilderness and the Skeena valley. On the penultimate day of our two-week vacation, we stumbled onto the farm that is now our home.
Throughout those two weeks, every few minutes we were on the road, every time we rounded a curve that opened onto another vista, I gasped, “Oh my Godde!” (I thank my friend Paula, a United Church minister, for the feminist spelling of God she shared with me years ago. It’s given me an entry point into explorations I avoided for much of my life by helping me to shake off the bearded-old-man-in-the-sky conception of God I was handed as a child.)
“Oh my God” is common language, now more than ever as the shorthand OMG, which Urban Dictionary defines as “possibly the most irritating piece of chatroom vernacular in existence.”
Louie Schwartzberg restores reverence to that trivialized phrase. He translates it like this:
“Oh” means it caught your attention; it makes you present and mindful.
“My” means it connects to something deep inside your soul and creates a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard.
“God” is the personal journey we all want to be on: to be inspired, to feel that we’re connected to a universe that celebrates life.
It can be hard to feel that connection here in BC at this moment in time when, instead of cherishing our “super natural” environment, global corporations are vying for the rights to rape it and leave it for dead.
I fell in love with the North eleven years ago, and in fact I’ve been falling in love with the BC coast since I sank my 2-year-old toes into the warm, wet sand of Rathtrevor Beach. As my love for this extraordinary place I call home expands, so does my resolve to protect what I love. I’ve pledged to protect the wild salmon, to stand up for BC, to hold the wall against Enbridge. I’ll lay my body on the line if it comes to that.
OMG. This has to be protected.