Say hello to Margaret Crosby - a photographer who captures Mother Nature's beauty in all its exquisite complexity, reminding us to take pause and admire life's little wonders.
Mother Nature is where you mostly focus your lens, however this is the first time you have done a series on feathers. What attracted you to this specific piece of nature?
This series pays homage to my roots…I come from a family of hunters in southeast Louisiana. I spent countless hours at hunting camps wandering around exploring the shapes, patterns and textures in my environment. My dad taught me how to clean the birds they hunted and I would keep the feathers I thought were the most beautiful.
I wanted to reflect the gratitude for the life of these birds by highlighting the intricate beauty that each feather holds. The feathers I chose to feature are of upland and waterfowl species, ones that are often hunted and brought home as food. By photographing feathers in a studio setting, I focus all of the attention on admiring the fine details of feathers, noticing their patterns and otherworldly qualities with a childlike wonder.
What is your most memorable experience from photographing nature?
My most memorable times taking photographs are when the journey to get to those moments are physically and mentally challenging. For instance, this past summer, my friends and I summited half dome for sunrise in Yosemite National Park. We woke up at 3 am to start our journey up, guided by the moonlight and our headlamps. The amount of focus and physical exertion that it takes brings you to a place where you rely completely on your senses.. Those unnecessary thoughts get cleared out of your mind…That is when I feel like I’m at my best in photography. I am merely an observer at that point and every moment feels like such a miracle that I try to convey. I have yet to reveal these pictures!
You have traveled to many places in the world and you are always drawn back to your Louisiana roots. Why do you think that is?
I definitely have an insatiable need to travel. I feel like it is in my DNA..it’s just a part of my purpose in this life. When I go off and experience different landscapes and cultures, I return home to Louisiana with a new sense of appreciation for what this area provides. It’s like I have to leave periodically in order to reveal how special life is down here.
The culture of Louisiana is like a fabric and each thread tells a story about its history and influence other parts of the world have had over it. The landscape of southeast Louisiana is so wild.. The line between water and land is constantly blurred and ever changing. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Every time I leave, I develop a new sense of curiosity about Louisiana and can’t wait to get back and explore it.
Water makes up the majority of your work, is there a certain body of water that has the most meaning to you?
All of it! Water is the most important resource on the planet. It’s no coincidence that the amount of water contained in the human body matches that of the Earth.
From the clear warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the powerful snowmelt of the pacific northwest to the uniquely blue Indian Ocean, I can say that each one feels just as sacred as the next.
Timing can be such a big piece of photography. What photo have you taken where you were so excited you snapped the camera at just the right moment?
Nothing beats the feeling of when I’m in the water snapping pictures of waves and I get that perfect moment when the crest of the wave begins its descent down. There’s something very surreal about freezing that moment forever. Waves are the physical representation of the power of the moon, weather, wind... It’s pretty remarkable. That ability to capture a moment in time that will never be repeated again makes my heart sing.
Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting out in photography?
If you’re going out there and capturing what makes you happy, then you’re doing it right. Your perspective is a contribution in and of itself…it’s what makes your work unique. The technical part of photography can be developed over time; it's a lifelong commitment to learning. So just start with what makes you happy and give yourself the time and space to learn the rest.