I´m Anna Morgan, ask me anything

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Hello to everyone from Vancouver Island! My name is Anna Morgan and I’m a full-time landscape photographer known mostly for my small and intimate scenes of nature.

I grew up in the UK though I am half British / half Spanish . In a former life, I was a companion animal veterinarian and, after 12 years in practice, my husband and I decided to relocate in search of a better work-life balance. After a few years in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, we are finally settled on Vancouver Island with no intention of ever leaving. I have two children, Rowan (6) and Noemi (5) who both already have their own cameras and are developing a love for the fascinating nature we are fortunate to have at our fingertips here.

In 2020, after a few years of juggling work, mat leaves and a global pandemic, I finally graduated with a masters in Conservation Medicine. I wrote my thesis on the role of conservation photographers and the entire process really changed my life, understanding and general trajectory in life, as well as my approach to photography.

Photography affords me a safe holding space in which to lean into vulnerability to explore my own embodied knowing and to make meaningful strides into my not-yet-embodied emerging future. The deeper and more intentionally I attend to nature, the deeper I sense my own presence, my ecological Self. By having times of stillness and reducing sensory overload, we expand our sense-abilities, letting go of attachments and expectations. Instead, we have space to practise seeing what arises. Only this way are we able to step back to get a better awareness of the bigger picture and of our ecological Selves. My passion is to help inspire this transformation in others, to encourage a growth in self-awareness, mindfulness and ecological health through photographic practices, and to motivate people to nurture curiosity and wonder with intention.

I’m looking forward to answering your questions so throw everything you have my way!

Website: https://www.annamorgan.ca/

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Deleting first as i had not read one question only.
So, which artists ( painters, photographers) would you suggest have had the most influence and why on your work please?
Jay Namyet

Can you please expand on the concept of our “ecological selves” - how is this connected to physicality, spirituality, psychology, and sociology?

Hi Jay,
No problem - since there are not too many questions yet, I am happy to answer both questions…

I would say that initially most of my artist influences did not come from photographers. I studied art history at high school (which coincided with when I first picked up a film camera) and I was interested in how certain art movements evolved, particularly from the romanticism period of the end of the 18th century CE through to the birth of abstract expressionism in the 1940’s. Painters throughout that time period whose works I especially enjoyed - mostly for their uses of colour and representation of light - include Turner, Degas, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, and O’Keefe but I also learned a lot about form and flow from architects such as Mies van Der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. In hindsight, I think part of my interest in these movements is the realization that these art movements aren’t so much about pictorial representation as they are complex and often philosophical thoughts and ideas. Although there are many photographers whose work I enjoy and admire, I think these have overall had less influence on my work.

As for your second question which I think was about photography and environmental consciousness although I forget the exact wording - this is a very interesting topic. Firstly, there are undoubtedly 2 spheres of consciousness which do overlap in some way; the first is the consciousness of the photographer themselves, and the second is that is the viewer. In terms of the consciousness of the photographer, this really depends on the quality of the questions we ask ourselves as we photograph and the depth to which we reflect on them as we photo, process and view our own work. I encourage anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of the environment, to work on strengthening the quality of their questions - and undo some of the more simple linear thinking processes we are often taught to use though our education. The consciousness of the viewer (individually and collectively) cannot of course be influenced by the same photographic practices, but only by the images. I am certain that the ways in which we consume images as a society influences how certain issues come into our consciousness so I think this is an interesting point for a photographer to consider how they share and display images. I have always been of the opinion that if you are seeking to influence the consciousness of others, telling someone what to think or how to behave is extremely unhelpful, perhaps even detrimental! Please let me know if this doesn’t answer your original question!

I am interested in teaching kids (mostly older) how to manage the modern stresses they face by learning to connect with nature through photography. I am also a yoga teacher of 20 years and thought of incorporating some simple breath work as part of that process. Would you have any recommendations for what you found effective to “step back back to get a bigger picture and of our ecological selves”?

Hi Jim,
Thank you so much for your interesting question!

The time ecological self I think first originated within the deep ecology movement, most based on the work of Arne Naess and, I think we can look at the ecological self, both as a concept of the individual and at a (human) species level. Normally, when we think of ‘self’ or ourselves, we are talking about the concept of individualism (wildly different from individuality) and, in the wider sense, anthropocentrism where we put self-as-one or self-as-species in a centric position to the story. This position has become the default in Western societies and has introduced concepts such as competition and constant (industrial and capital) growth into our thinking at both levels. By shifting from this egotistical self to an ecological self, we shift from relativism into relationally, interwoven in a non-hierarchical way with other beings and with the earth. In each of the 4 areas you mention - physicality, spirituality, psychology and sociology, there is a fundamental difference between the ego and eco in the ways in which we relate to that around us in that we move towards thinking of ourselves as part of a very large and complex system (systems theory). I hope that answers the questions sufficiently? There is much more that could be said and written on this topic. If you are not already familiar with the work of Arne Naess and Joanna Macy, amongst others, their work is worth exploring.

Hello, Having only been on the Island for 24 hours on the way to a trip to Alaska, good shooting spots, as long as they are not your “secret go-tos”? :slightly_smiling_face:

Alan Paine

What a great question! As a mother to two (smaller) children, I feel deeply for the pressures and struggles that youth are facing in today’s world. I think the groundwork undoubtedly gets sets much earlier in life and by the time children are older, there is a lot of undoing already required. I think slowing down is a big part of being able to take a step back. And understanding what we mean by slowing down - it may not always mean physically slowing down although that usually helps too! I think being able to move through life with intention is the key part of slowing down. Perhaps even going as far as developing intentionality (the philosophy behind the intentions). We often go through our day on autopilot, not really knowing what we are doing, from the food that we way to our social interactions. Being able to start with small questions to understand who we are and how we relate to the world is important. We develop all through our lives of course, but as we all know those teenage years are especially confusing and tumultuous. I find safe circle groups especially helpful. In academia, I have been involved in what we call coaching circles and a watered down version of this may be helpful for teenagers where they share stories (images?) about their week or day and have the rest of the circle simply listen. It’s important that there are no judgements, suggestions on what to do etc but instead having others reflect what they heard especially in the form of a metaphor helps everyone in the circle grow emotionally and mentally, learning from each other without being ‘taught’ in a traditional way. I think simple breath work or meditation is a perfect pairing to that type of safe setting.

Hi Alan,
I think you’re saying you only have 24hours to explore but let me know if I’ve misunderstood the phrasing…?
Within easy reach of of Victoria are Butchart Gardens, Goldstream Provincial Park, Sooke Potholes, French Beach and going up towards Port Renfrew, there is Sombrio Beach, and Botanical Beach. Most other places are a little bit of a trek to get to!

Hi Anna :grinning:

As someone who has developed a love of photographing the intricate details of nature’s small scenes, I often encounter mental exhaustion during the process. For instance, when I’m in a canyon during late fall, I feel overwhelmed by the need to meticulously observe every fallen leaf, mud ripple, and colorful shrub, all while remaining open to unexpected discoveries. How do you recommend managing this overwhelming feeling and maintaining focus while seeking out these intricate details?

Greatly appreciate your thoughtful response!
It is of little surprise to me that it was great painters who influenced you most. I find myself drawn to their sophistication as well. Now, after 50 years of practice, perhaps I will one day create something representative of their brilliance! :man_shrugging:t3::grin:

I find myself as a traveler loving to capture the beauty of the locals and their environment. I am not arrogant enough to think my images will influence anyone. But i am trying to find relevancy in my body of work and an organization that is dedicated to enlightening people about respect for mother nature and her inhabitants.


Thanks for being on NPN today. I love BC and Vancouver Island. Best to y’all in your new home. I was glued to your article “On Looking” in the first Nature Vision Magazine issue. Photography is all about seeing. Just to add a saying from the Talmud - “Wherever you look there is something to see.” Your images are superb. Thanks for sharing yourself with NPN.

OK, interesting…there’s a whole discussion to be had about hermeneutics and the relationship between listener/speaker, artist/viewer to be had there. I’m not familiar with Naess or Macy and will attempt to look them up.


Hi Trevor,
This is a really interesting question! I would argue that there is no simple answer though there are lots of changes that you can make to reframe, reposition of simply relate differently to your thoughts, and they all require some hard inner work. Firstly, perhaps a question to you and anyone who feels this way; what are your expectations when you set out into the canyon? Are you wondering what you might come across to photo perhaps? Do you give yourself a set time that you have to be back at the car? I think that what you’ve described is not so different from the kinds of expectations associated with going out to get a particular image that you had in mind. Being fully present is not so much about looking outwards at the small details, but deepening your understanding of how you relate to those small details. It’s about being able to let go of the idea that you are supposed to observe it all - you are not supposed to at all! There is no focus to be maintained :slight_smile: My suggestion is that you start by noticing (speak out loud if you’re alone in a canyon! or writing things down really slows the pace) your feelings and emotions as you walk in the canyon, perhaps some sensory details that you are not able to photo directly. And then practice letting that thought go. We feel what we feel, so if you feel overwhelmed, make a note of that, and then let that thought go. You could even give your overwhelmed self a name so that when he appears, you can have a conversation with him before moving on. You can practice this of course at any time, not just when you’re out photographing. Over time, you will learn to let go of any expectations you are holding on to whether consciously or otherwise.
Another suggestion is just to stop at the first thing that really takes your interest before getting your camera out and then spending a couple of hours in that one spot rather than trying to cram in as many observations as possible.
I hope that helps a little?

Yes indeed! Do feel free to reach out directly to me if you’d like any help finding texts.

Go well.

Hi Larry,
What’s not to love about this part of the world!
Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing the saying from the Talmud. It is so fitting and I couldn’t agree more!

Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful questions, and thank you to those who have followed along but haven’t asked any questions. It’s always fun to be able to take a deeper dive into some of these topics.

For anyone interested in keeping up to date with things I have in the pipeline, please consider subscribing to my newsletter by adding your email address at the bottom of this page. You can also download my two free portfolio ebooks directly from my website.

Thanks again and go well.

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