Nearly all my photography is nature-based. I am happiest and most free when wandering the unfathomable world of nature. Carrying a camera intensifies that state by heightening my attention, wonder, and mindfulness. The camera says to me, “Pay attention! Magic and mystery await. Are you ready?” I can photograph only a small amount of what I actually see. But I delight in being able to share some of my experience through photography.
When photographing animals (and fungus, plants and landscapes), I am most interested in capturing a glimpse of the umwelt of the creature: the unique character, personality, and world view of that particular organism. We talk about being able to walk in someone else’s shoes, but can we also travel in another's paw, hoof, or wing? Like many other nature photographers, I feel the need to be a witness and to document what we have on planet earth and what we are quickly losing.
Carla has experimented with a variety of creative media over the decades. Currently, she is passionate about nature photography and jewelry-making. She hopes to spend more time essay writing this year; she may even take up poetry. Her formal training is in painting and drawing. After getting her BFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Carla worked as a freelance illustrator for a number of years. Carla becomes depressed when she goes too long without creating something using her eyes, right brain, and hands.
In her other life, Carla teaches the contemplative arts as an Insight Meditation Teacher in Santa Cruz, CA. She began practicing Buddhist meditation and philosophy in her early 20s and later became a transpersonal psychotherapist. Although recently semi-retired, she continues to offer meditation groups and retreats. Dedicated to spending as much time outdoors as possible, Carla recommends meditating in nature as a powerful way to discover one’s own true nature. She lives in the redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
More on Carla Brennan's work can be found on our Links page.