I had always converted this image to a black and white. It just seemed to lend itself to that. It just invoked a sad look which is how this old tree made me feel.
An acquaintance of mine stopped me and told of how she always liked this image, it made her happy. I had to inquire as to how she felt happiness looking at an image of a dead tree. She told me that she had grown up in the town (Coyonosa TX) near the tree. There once was an old store next to the then living green leafed tree, offering perhaps the best nearby shade. Her and friends would buy their iced down Nehi’s and a box of Sugar Baby’s. Rest in the life that simply could not be any better!
Drink ’em if you got ’em, in the shade if you can.
“Photographs open doors to the past but they also allow a look into the future” Sally Mann
Ah the fun that an old man can have with the simplicity of a small piece of an already beautiful thing. How light reflects, creates shadows, small valleys and rises. The color, already vibrant, can be made to seem to make a solid into transparency. All with the simplicity of a bloom and a small maglite. Add the fact that in can all be done within the comfort of eighty degrees when it’s 101 outside.
It somehow seems a bit of cheating the mindful practice, using artificial means to achieve what used to take hours of waiting until the natural light became what you needed or wanted. I long to be of the nature like Ansel Adams. I had read of the lengths that Mr Adams would go (or wait) for the images to form to his liking. But then I read his description of the making of his haunting image: Moonrise over Espanola.
“We were sailing southward along the highway not far from Espanola(NM) when I glanced to the left and saw an extraordinary situation—an inevitable photograph! I almost ditched the car and rushed to set up my 8×10 camera. I was yelling to my companions to bring me things from the car as I struggled to change components on my Cooke Triple-Convertible lens. I had a clear visualization of the image I wanted, but when the Wratten No. 15 (G) filter and the film holder were in place, I could not find my Weston exposure meter! The situation was desperate: the low sun was trailing the edge of the clouds in the west, and shadow would soon dim the white crosses.
I was at a loss with the subject luminance values, and I confess I was thinking about bracketing several exposures, when I suddenly realized that I knew the luminance of the moon—250 c/ft2. Using the Exposure Formula, I placed this luminance on Zone VII; 60 c/ft2 therefore fell on Zone V, and the exposure with the filter factor o 3x was about 1 second at f/32 with ASA 64 film. I had no idea what the value of the foreground was, but I hoped it barely fell within the exposure scale. Not wanting to take chances, I indicated a water-bath development for the negative.”
Realizing as I released the shutter that I had an unusual photograph which deserved a duplicate negative, I swiftly reversed the film holder, but as I pulled the darkslide the sunlight passed from the white crosses; I was a few seconds too late!”
Please do not think that I am comparing myself to “Da Man”, other than we both use the same tool (of sorts), the likeness fades like an under-fixed print…..Peace Out †††
“WE BUILD TOO MANY BRIDGES AND NOT ENOUGH WALLS.” Isaac Newton…..
Oh how we say time flies, but then there are those days that just seem to stay frozen in time. It was just about two years ago that I had to put my good friend down. I still feel a little lost without him. I miss his fierce protection of all under my roof. I miss his smell. Probably only true dog folks can follow that, but every dog I have owned had their own distinctive smell along with their own pedigree of personality:
Samantha (the sweetest), Pork Chop (the happiest), Midnight (a troubled black lab I could never quite follow), Clovis (the only dog we ever paid for, unconditionally the smartest and who was so tight with his pack) and then comes Grace (our blue-eyed deaf rescue found abandoned at a West Texas railroad station and who is now my only four-legged shadow).
I have loved each of them greatly and differently. Each one has brought me their lifetime of joy and buckets of tears upon leaving. Clovis was my poser dog. Whenever I got out my Nikon, he was quick to notice and quicker to upstage anyone and anything.
Since I lost Clovis, I have not, with any degree of seriousness, picked up a camera. He just took that out of me. I have tried to shoot at some images, but every time I pick up a camera I hear his tags a jingle, a bump on the leg wanting to know where he should pose. My heart goes adrift and the camera back in the backpack.
I am a sentimental old coot and damn but I miss them all and can pull up many a tearful memory. I have to ask, how can a dog steal my vision? Hey, if they can steal your heart, vision is pretty much a simple task.
Get busy living or get busy dying!…”Red”…aka S. King
It seems a bit of an oxymoron have to work so hard at taking it easy, but I am having to do just that. Trying to find those thermals to drift upon. That downhill part of the hike, but any hiker will tell you the downhill portions are the killers.
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” Marie Curie
Don’t get me started on the search for the gift, that can be a real uphill hike.
Following my recent panic attack, that was probably one of the worst I have ever had, I am working hard to get that peaceful easy feeling. To rest in the comfort of me.
I had someone email me a great story about panic attacks that gave me a chuckle so here is a share:
A man once had panic attacks, but eventually, with much struggle, stopped having them. Years later, he ended up in a hospital, pain in his chest, and his doctor comes in to explain that he had had a heart attack. The man says, “Thanks God! I thought the panic attacks had come back!”
You just gotta find a way to find comfort in your discomfort!
On my return to the house from our morning walk I stopped to pause at our Rose of Sharon bush. It has a number of mostly identical blooms. Outstanding in color and form but one does get bored with the same view. One bloom stood out with this praying mantis eating his breakfast of a little Skipper butterfly. Of course my macro kit was sitting inside the house and not even all together. So a mad scramble to make my return and see the last tastee’ morsel disappear.
It is all about timing and being ready. Your ship always arrives while you are waiting at the bus station! monos en theos ††† jas L
“To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly”
I perhaps in a vain attempt to stay young, am astonished every time I open files of images any bug, flower or object of mother nature. Maybe it is the little boy in me but I am wowed with the beauty that exists in small things.
I know that bugs give some of us the yuck factor, but I am always amazed.
Stay young or die trying!…monos en theos…..james L work