April 23, 2009

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

At 14 years of age, I knew that I was destined to be a fine art photographer.

Even at this early age I found myself drawn to a particular style of image, one that would literally cause a physical reaction in me. They were dark images created by Adams, Weston, Bullock and others. At age 14 I knew that I was destined to create such images.

An important early influence in my life and my art was the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley.

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

for my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of Circumstance,

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of Chance,

my head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears,

looms but the Horror of the shade,

and yet the menace of the years,

finds, and shall find me, unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,

how charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.


For me, this poem evokes dark images which form the inspiration for my photographs. Darkness in my images represents the trials of our human existence while the light represents the strength that comes from the realization that we are the captains of our souls.

5 thoughts on “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

  1. Interesting… I wish I knew at 14 that I wanted to be a photographer. I didn’t conclude that until I was in my 50’s and already near retirement from one career.

    I do have to say that, for me, the more optimistic “captains of our souls” side of your photography shows though strongly. I find that the “darkness” just seems to set a context that frames a “mastery of your fate.”

  2. Thanks Gary, I agree. I’ve always seen my dark images as hopeful, not depressing!

    It’s a wonderful poem, popular during the latter parts of the 1800’s.


  3. as far as i am concerned,this poem is a masterpiece.whenever i read it , it makes me become a new person.it renews my strength and gives me hope in the future .

  4. Wonderful website, partner! I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. | Cole Thompson Photography is really some thing. I am launching acquire before long i will certainly duplicate aspects of your own, legitimately obviously 🙂

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