Jonathan Charles

This fantastic photograph, ‘Wonder’, from photographer Jonathan Charles had us mesmerised immediately.

What a wonderful contrast between the cold, white background and the bright, eye-catching colour of the two children looking around themselves in awe and intrigue. It inspires a feeling of fantasy and fairytale, as if the two children are on a magical journey. It is a perfect photograph, and describes in an image the wonder and curiousness of children. The fantastical location pulls us into their imaginative minds; what are they looking at? Fairies? Elves? What magical beings can be found in this desolate yet magical white forest?

As Charles says below, this is the enchanting pull of nature. This is real life, its wonder, and as we grow up many of us lose the magical connection we had as children. This photograph reminds us of the beauty of nature, the magical element that can be found in reality and in our daily lives.

I am an art photographer and have been since 1970. I can be found in Bristol, Cornwall and the Charente region of France. In my work, my main interest is in the reality and mythology of the human relationship with nature, explored through portrait, landscape and abstract images. Many of my photographs have been taken opportunistically in the course of real life with some constructed imagery, for example to represent elements of the folklore of a range of cultures.

I believe that ‘Wonder’ is the right response to our experience of nature. However, all too often as adults we are too busy or pre-occupied to indulge ourselves with the time and the fresh view that allows us to grasp that emotion. We can learn from small children; I took this photo of my twins walking in woodland after a snowfall, and they were seeing the fairytale landscape for the first time. Their response helped me to appreciate the beauty of the scene as vividly as I can remember, and I am glad I was able to capture some of that enchantment in this picture.