Across months and miles, a Monitor photographer searches for the perfect pair of pictures.
Ten days in western Scotland can seem like an eternity. There, the landscape is the main attraction, and the only crowds consist of sheep.
Walk is what I did. My most important decision every day? Do I walk toward the ocean or toward the mountains?
In Scotland, one is allowed to walk the land regardless of its ownership. So I became an expert gate jumper. Soon, there was no gate – or stone wall – that I couldn't overcome. This added an element of excitement to my otherwise meditative walks.
One day I came across a rusty metal post (above left). It was at the site of an old stone house that nature had reclaimed. I took the picture. I came back home.
I knew that the photo was perfect for an art piece. One day, I decided that I needed to find a companion image in which culture overcame nature. Wherever I went, I searched for that elusive image. Weeks, months passed. Nothing seemed to be quite right. After a while, the search haunted me.
Then, on a cloudy afternoon in Quito, Ecuador, there it was, the perfect companion image. What was a mundane scene, a place of no clear relevance, became my perfect spot – the site where culture had overtaken nature.
I rediscovered why I love art. It allowed me to find perfection in the world. In the end, the images that worked together had been separated by thousands of miles. That was a lot of gates and fences to jump.