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To the Tree: a Photographic Paean

The tree, as early as I can remember, impressed me as being the tallest plant around, that acquired its qualities from being useful, i.e. providing shade, oxygen, bloom, fruit and wood.

What I wish to illustrate and discuss here, based on my photographs, is the expressive value of the tree, i.e. how it contributes by its sheer presence to the perceptual experience of sites and/or situations … all in a light mode!

Between lake and woods, there is nothing like a flowering tree to bring them together … photographically that is.

to illustrate the way trees are found in natural settings

A blooming transition between lake and grove 

When a simulated mountain clearing visually needed an anchor, nothing like a specimen tree to fulfill the need.

To illustrate how a specimen tree can provide a visual and ecological focus to a simili mountain clearing

The visual power of the fan shaped branches of a specimen tree

When urban row housing dwellers need privacy, there is nothing like a row of trees to draw attention away from the buildings.

To illustrate how a row of trees at sunset can screen the façades of row houses

Sun lit tree tops to let our eyes focus on the street and not the building façades

When the moon seems so far away, two trees mounting the guard over a picnic shed will help visually reach for it.

To illustrate how trees can reach the sky on the way to a dusk moon

Earth boy, shelter, and trees cozying under a dusk moon

When moon and street light visually need a mid-distance marker, photographically, tree branches will bring it all together.

To illustrate how a tree outline can organize the separate visual elements of a street photograph at night fall

The visual organizing power of tree branches in a photograph of street elements at nightfall

When a quiet pond needs something to reflect off it, the tree is always happy to oblige.

to illustrate how trees can bring visual interest to a plain pond surface

How to see the image of a tree above and the edge of that tree simultaneously

When the overhead sky feels distant and monotonous, trees will be happy to hold their branches across its barren extent.

to illustrate how a photograph can bring sky and tree top in a photographic composition

Trees as visual animation of an otherwise dull sky

When trees gather to keep company, benches and people will usually follow.

To illustrate how a gathering of trees can invite a gathering of people

Urban gathering of trees and people

End words

Let us do what is necessary to keep the trees from burning by the millions.

 

Credit all photos to Maurice Amiel 

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