Winter Project - Trees

2010_001_10.jpgA reader that stumbled across my site specifically looking for black and white prints was interested one of my Adox MCC 110  sample prints but wanted something shot with a super fine grain film. Honestly with my eyes you cannot see the grain in an 8x10 of any of the medium format negatives that I offer as a selection but at the end of the day we settled on the image that you see with the post.

Yep it is a tree. Specifically it is a giant tree that I shot on medium format Kodak TMAX 100 film. That is about as fine grained high resolution as you can get. The sample print negotiation aside - I wanted to share a little about projects that I am working on this winter. The first one I decided on was the tree project. I have a big problem with projects and with the winter season in the mid-atlantic. My project problem is that they are usually over ambitious. At least my personal projects are - commercial projects are easy. My winter problem is even more serious - I hate the winter, I hate everything about it. Ever hear of seasonal depression - my case as long as I remember is more like seasonal disaster. I don't like going outside. I think the world is an ugly place. I find nothing that is positive at all about the winter. I wish I could actually hibernate.

This year I took a little different strategy for getting me through - at least photographically. I decided I would shoot an outdoor project. The subject is trees. They are about the only thing that I find remotely interesting in the winter time. Some of them are more interesting than when they have leaves. They are also extremely challenging to me as a subject - at least they way that I want to shoot them. They must be shot in context and the context has a couple variations but they are all similar - dark subject on light background if they are big trees. Yea I know there are exceptions but that context is completely opposite of the way my photographic and aesthetic brain works in terms of negative space. Filters can make the situation worse in a lot of circumstances - bring the tree up and the sky down so they are the same - very flat.

In any case I have only seen one photographer that has done trees as a subject that I ever really loved. Yes it is a matter of taste - I have the guy's name written down. I will try to find it. My tree project is simple - I want to make 10 images that I like - not that are my vision of perfect. That would take 10 life times like some of my other overly ambitious personal projects. Just 10 images that I like and speak simultaneously to my feelings on the winter season while somehow portraying the one shining example of beauty that I see. The project has a hard stop - the spring of this year.

Wish me luck I have only made 2 images that I like so far and winter is not that long - see how this project helps me get through the winter, this is one of them. I can feel the project deadline approaching fast now and I am only 20% done.

Hope this helps any other people that suffer through the season as I do.

RB

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