For most of his life, Robert Morris has found and photographed the beauty in uncomplicated things. He learned this, he said, when he spent several years traveling by pack train through Canada's northwestern Yukon Territory.
"I grew up in the country life," said the British Columbia native, who has lived in Sequim for three decades. "I like to do landscapes and abstracts of nature ... just a limb hanging over a riverbank ... it's beautiful."
To prove it, Morris visited the banks of the Dungeness River, the peaks of Mount Rainier and even the deserts of the Sierra Nevada to depict the simple aspects of nature. Earlier this year, with the urging of close friend and fellow peninsula photographer Ross Hamilton, Morris published his first book, an 80-page black-and-white coffee table-type collection of his photos.
"Black-and-white, to me, is a real art form," he said.
"Quiet Moments" isn't just an ordinary photography book however - the multitalented Morris, who said he always carries a notebook and pen in his shirt pocket, also included his original poems to complement the photos.
"They are just simple words put together," Morris said. "I tried to match the picture with the poem."
Although Morris refers to his photography as a hobby, he puts enough time and energy into his work to constitute a full-time job, albeit a fun one. He said he recently returned from a European adventure where he took hundreds of pictures and later this month he plans to pack up his RV and spend a week near Mount Rainier.
"Every place is unique," Morris said of his travels, during which he lugs around his new digital camera and a tripod. "(But) it doesn't matter where you go, there is always something (to photograph)."
Many of the photographs in Morris' books are not digital; they were created the old-fashioned way in the darkroom he built in his previous home. Now, however, Morris said he is learning how to work with a digital camera and computer photo software.
Whether the technology or the climate changes, Morris said he will continue to take photographs - and write poetry - for as long as he can. As for the title of the book, "Quiet Moments," Morris likes to have his as much as possible.
"I like to get up where there isn't anybody around," he said. "Capture the simple beauty and share it with others."
An eagle cries in the misty dawn,
Sea birds sing their eternal song.
Rocky crags jut from the sea,
Tugging at the soul deep within me.
It is here I belong in this quiet grace,
The primeval urge has found its place.
Alone and at peace, it is here I belong,
Embraced by the arms of nature's song.
We may run, we may hide, in our hurried pace,
But it is here with nature we find our place.
For there resides deep within us all,
An urgent need to answer nature's call.
Sequim photographer and poet Robert Morris' newly released book "Quiet Moments" is filled with his original words and pictures. The book is available at Frick Drugs, Pacific Mist Books and Fat Cat Garden and Gifts in Sequim and Odyssey Bookshop, Port Book & News and Olympic Stationers in Port Angeles or by calling RV Morris Photography at 681-0105.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
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