Steadfast in Dormancy – Revisions
Recently, I mentioned a couple of my photography redos. While I’m at it, I’ll show one more.
One of the photography blogs I really enjoy following is Brian Gaynor Photography. Brian recently posted a shot of a small tree in a snow blind setting. He titled the post “Break in the Landscape”. It’s a beautiful landscape image that reminded me of a maple that I shot in February 2008 during an ice fog.
This isn’t exactly an image made out in the woods. My wife and I were actually driving around the countryside, looking for interesting rural scenes to capture. I wasn’t focussed on nature photography. We had made a few stops but eventually we came across this tree in a field. I got her to stop the car and I made my way closer to what I was seeing. As she saw what my attention was directed toward she exclaimed that she saw it too.
It was such a bright and exceptionally cold winter day that ice crystals hung in the air making nearly everything in sight foggy yet glowing at the same time. There were no human, domestic or wild animal tracks visible, no man-made obstructions abound, not even a bird on the branch. Other than a small forest off to my right, this little maple was completely isolated in the elements.
The second I saw this tree as we drove by, I was struck by the dichotomy of impressions that welled up in me from looking at it. The scene almost looked like a lost and lonely child, yet strong and independent as it braved the cold. The vision gave me warmth. I was observing not just a sight but a moment in nature and time. Like any artistic photographer, I strived to capture that moment. Relying on carefully selected manual settings, “Steadfast in Dormancy” was the result. Out of all my nature photography, it has become a bit of a favoured image with people looking for photographic art.
I wound up writing a poem in response to the experience of seeing this little tree in the bitter cold, and tried to convince myself for a very long time to be satisfied with making and displaying one B/W version of the image but I have never been truly happy with the rendition that I had let others see; which is the first monochrome version.
At the top of this post is the original after colour correction. Nobody has seen this version until now. The only version that some have seen is the first monochrome rendition that my wife fell in love with, framed and hung in our dining room, and that others have purchased prints of.
I did also prepare a second B/W version with increased contrast that is the most like Brian’s image but I never let anyone see it either until now because I don’t like the way it negates too much of the natural ice fog effect.
Brian responded to my comment on his page, and asked to see my picture. So here it is in all three current versions.
It might not be in keeping with the title of this landscape piece, and the poem that I wrote but I’m open to hear critique. What would you think I should do this improve this landscape piece?
The world is a cold place, as everybody knows.
It’s so difficult to stand on your own.
Sometimes you must sleep deep to regain your strength.
Even worse, is when you can weather the harshest season
But others see you and assume that you are incapable.
Do not waste time and energy seeking their validation.
Find it within yourself to stand strong.
Even while you sleep, your senses must remain awake.
Prepare to blossom
When spring comes around.