If you’re lucky, when you’re photographing birds you are enjoying nature and break from the trials and tribulations of the human world. If you’re on St. Martin, when you’re photographing birds, you are probably trying to find an angle where there’s no garbage in the frame. Sometimes, though, it is important to capture the mess we’ve made, since that is the island we are living on.
Just as a photo of habitat is enhanced by the presence of a bird, our own woeful neglect of nature and downright hostility to the environment is brought into sharper focus when accompanied by wildlife. It is inspiring to see life surviving in the wake of our destruction and the shame we feel is amplified.
At the same time, there are also moments when the worlds of man and nature cross paths under more congenial circumstances. The remnants of the salt pans, mostly forgotten by man and now occupied only by birds, are a favorite. It’s also a reminder that in our rush towards the future, we tend to sacrifice not only the natural world, but also the legacy of our own past.