Story Behind the Image
Harbinger No. 22 - Easter Island
When I created my first
Harbinger image in 2008, I never dreamed that there would be another.
When people would ask if I was going to create a series of them my
response would be: "Seriously? What are the chances that I'd
stumble upon another single cloud in an interesting setting?"
But here I am in 2015
with 18 Harbingers.
above was created on Easter Island at Ahu Tongariki. Tongariki
is the largest ahu on Easter Island and these fifteen Moai were
toppled during civil wars around the 17th century and then swept
inland by a tsunami in 1960. In 1993 a five year project began which
restored the Moai on their ahu.
Tongariki sits on the
edge of the sea and it is, in my opinion, one of the great wonders of
the world. It's not just the sheer physical size that astounds, but
the unanswered questions as to why they were crafted, by whom and
how. But by far the greatest mystery for me is why the work suddenly
stopped, tools were dropped and dozens of Moai left unfinished.
When I was on Easter
Island, I had a daily routine which was dictated by the sun. In the
early afternoon I'd end up at Tongariki and would sit for hours
waiting for the right clouds and conditions for long exposures.
Because I was so focused
on long exposures, I was not on the lookout for a Harbinger. Then one
day as I sat there listening to a book on tape and waiting for
conditions to change, I suddenly realized that there was this single
cloud over the ahu!
Was I excited? Boy
howdy! I mean, what are the chances???
There was a problem
however: the cloud was so close that I had to use a very wide angle
lens for the shot which severely distorted the Moai. I was able to
fix this distortion in Photoshop, but unfortunately that fix caused
another problem...it distorted the cloud.
I had to find a way to
fix the Moai without ruining the cloud, which I did.
Most of my Harbinger
images have the cloud centered, like this one. However I do not have
a rule about where the cloud should be, I just go with what feels
right and centered felt right for this image.
There is something about
this Harbinger image that fails to give you a sense of the tremendous
size of the Moai. Maybe it's how small the Moai are in relation to
the cloud or perhaps it's because there's nothing in the image that
we can compare their size to.
To give a sense of their
size, look for the horse in the image below:
Can you see it?
The Moai on the left is about 35 feet tall...these guys are really
I love the the Harbinger series and feel so lucky that I came home
with this image. This series may take years and years to complete,
but I now have faith that I'll come across more solitary clouds in