When I was younger and a freshman in college, I took a photography course. It was a dream of mine to be a B/W artist that focused on the surreal and
abstract beauty of nature. I wanted to take those everyday things like trees and flowers and even old broken down houses in the country and transform
them into works of art. I spent many weeks compiling a portfolio, all black and white, and made a beautiful collage to share with my class for our
I got an A+ and the admiration of many that were enthralled by the creativity and simplistic form I used to capture many different types of nature,
primarily I focused on trees. Some of those trees were near dilapidated old barns or houses or in cemeteries, so the structures and landscape
surrounding them were obviously included, along with any creatures stirring about.
I took some amazing pictures and I was very proud of my attention to detail and my discipline in finding just the right angles to take the shot from.
The patience involved was time consuming. I spent most of my time taking the shots at night, using the moon for light and occasionally using my
flash. I did not like using the flash that much though. I preferred the natural light, especially for the B/W and the effect I was looking for with
natural shadows to accent the frame.
My favorite pictures were the ones where I managed to capture an Owl or a Rabbit or an Eagle or a Fox or a Raccoon. There was something magical about
that instance where the shutter clicks and that frame is frozen, catching the very simple and very real nature. I was so happy when I was out in that
peaceful night with just me and the shadows to experience the innocence of the animals and the trees under the majestic moon glow.
One night I had the fortune of watching a baby deer (yes, I even named it Bambi) frolicking about in a wistful dance, just snooping her nose around
and playing in the field, not a care in her little world. On another night, I had an experience that I saw for the very first time, a hummingbird
fluttering near a tree, snap, I caught you! They are amazing and wonderful creatures. This started me on a lifetime of fascination with hummingbirds.
I suppose someday I will share my story about them, but this is intended to be about another subject matter as the title suggest; Trees with Soul!
Trees with Soul!
Can trees have souls? That is what I intended to show when I began taking picture after picture. I took 1000's and I analyzed them all one by one
for months. I had them posted on my dorm room wall like wallpaper. I gave them names. I allowed anyone that wanted to the opportunity to wander
through my makeshift gallery, day after day. I received many opinions. Most of what I heard, I managed to record for posterity and for me to use as
a source of information when I and if I decided to ever make a "coffee table book".
The response was tremendous and quite a few of the viewers agreed with me, these trees did in fact have souls. They just had something that could be
felt and experienced profoundly when being mesmerized by their beauty and mystery. Of course, you would have to believe that souls are real to
acknowledge that this is possible. Fanciful and wishful? Maybe, I have no problem with the cynic in you objecting.
As for me, I was the one taking the pictures and I have a deep understanding of what it was I felt during my marathon picture taking sessions. They
spoke to me. They beckoned me. They lured me with their wiles. The story was always for me though. The information would be shared eventually, but
the magic of the moment was for me and me alone. I could not expect anyone else to feel what I felt as the moment happened, but I was always told and
taught, that a photographer could make their subjects feel and then bring that to the viewer if they were really any good.
I think I did an excellent job of portraying the trees, along with the other elements, and gave the subjects the feeling that they were important and
translated that to the viewers. I was saddened by something that happened shortly after I finished this project though. There was a fire that broke
out one day in the photography building and many wonderful pieces of artwork went up in flames with it; my project was one of them. I was so
heartbroken. I did have many negatives thankfully, but so much hard work had been damaged it was demoralizing.
Turns out I did not have the stomach to continue after the school year was up. It was just a minor subject and I directed my attention elsewhere. I
still hold the negatives and maybe one day I will get the courage to go down that road again, publish a book, who knows, but I will always have the
memories of those very special moments that were snapped in my minds eye, those can never be burned down.
Maybe some of you have a favorite picture you want to share with all of us with this subject matter and B/W. I was going to do this, but I decided to
let others join in with their contributions first, if they so desire! If not, that is okay, as some point I will include some pictures in this thread
that I find fascinating (not mine though), just a warning before that is mentioned. The only way my pictures will ever make it here is if I decide to
publish my "coffee table book"!
edit on 1-1-2016 by baglady333 because: (no reason given)