Photographing the Environment

Photographing the Environment – Portraits of Mother Nature

Capturing Mother Nature at its worst and at its best


The other night I watched the CNN town hall meeting with former Vice President Al Gore. I’ve watched Al Gore’s first documentary An Inconvenient Truth  (and read the book), and so I couldn’t wait to hear more about the sequel, An Inconvenient Sequel. The CNN town hall meeting turned out to provide an eye-opening discussion. And so did Al Gore’s appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher.

Truth is that, no matter what side of the aisle we find ourselves when it comes to the environment, we’ve all experienced Mother Nature at its worst, as well as at its best.

At its best (or should I say at her best) Mother Nature can be dazzling, putting on a colorful show of magnificent lights. We see its beauty in the glorious golden hour light or arching across the sky in a magnificent rainbow (or moonbow, which is a rainbow that appears at night). We feel her touch in the summer breeze brushing through our hair or in the salty spray of the ocean landing on our skin.

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Mother Nature at its worst is a whole other story–Katrina, Sandy, and other storms and floods and fires that remain nameless, yet not less devastating.

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Sometimes, somewhere in between its worst and its best, we get to witness the powerful Mother Nature in all its glory. The experience helps us reconsider our place on this planet we call home, our place in nature and our relationship with nature, and let’s just say, maybe it helps put things into perspective. Here are a few images capturing us vs nature:

  • a helicopter flying over a dormant volcano in Hawaii
Helicopter flying over Napali Coast. Aerial Photography by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Man and Nature. Helicopter flying over Napali Coast. Aerial Photography by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

  • trucks facing the incoming storm on a remote Hawaiian beach
Facing the Storm. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Facing the storm. Photo by Alina Oswald.

  • a car, engulfed by nature, on its way to the top of Haleakala, in Maui, Hawaii
Small car. Big Park.

Finding our way through a winding road. Haleakala National Park. Maui, Hawaii.

  • a boat reaching the Colorado River shore, at the Horseshoe Canyon
Boat reaching the shore.

Reaching the shore. Coming home. Finding our bliss, at least for a while.

  • yours truly in Allerton Gardens, in Hawaii, next to the Jurassic Park tree (where the dinosaur eggs were “found” in the movie Jurassic Park)

By the tree featured in Jurassic Park movie, in Hawaii.


Only when we allow ourselves to get lost in nature, when we see Mother Nature in action–its power, its rage, and also its splendor–we begin to realize how important it is to respect Mother Nature and to protect the environment.

So why not work with Mother Nature, rather than against it?

Germany, for examples, has fields and fields of wind turbines. They are majestic in their own way. There’s a surreal element, I find, surrounding the wind turbines.

Solar panels cover the roofs of many buildings in Germany and in Europe, in general, and also in Hawaii, sometimes in the most remote locations.


Perhaps the idea here is to “think different” and work with Mother Nature to safeguardour home, the Blue Planet.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald

Stormy evening in Aloha land.




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