"Spiritual Journey" cover photo of Earth Is My Witness book
Canon EOS-3, EF17-35mm lens, Fujichrome Velvia film
Earth Is My Witness is the most extensive collection of Art Wolfe's photography ever compiled. "Spiritual Journey" is an iconic photo of a pilgrim on the Ganges in the holy city of Varanasi during the Kumbh Mela.
This photo was taken at dawn as the sun rose through a layer of smoke and haze. To get the depth of field is was taken with a wide-angle lens and a small f-stop of f/22 for 1 second.
This image is so androgynous; the viewer has no clues as to whether it is a man or a woman in the boat, old or young. Anyone looking at this image can very easily see themselves within the composition, imagine themselves pushing off into a new space, both physically and mentally. Thus it appeals to just about anyone from an ascetic point of view.