I’ve been working on “this” image for a few weeks — not this particular image as such, but the idea. Actually, really for almost a year in some forms. Last summer I was photographing a very twisted maple branch in this spot, with a wide angle lens. Those never made it onto the site, but I was interested. Then this spring I was trying it some more, and after getting home from some camera work I noticed a few that stood out in a way I liked — with a slight telephoto, the just-about-to-break-buds tracing lines across the mountain.
The concept of that was something like an ukiyo-ye woodcut, which so often featured Fuji as background with some interesting forms in the foreground.
Somewhat tormented by this concept, I persevered. These days it seems that conceptual photography has some extra legitimacy in some circles. The more of a concept you have behind the work, the better, in those circles. I don’t know about that. I didn’t have a high art concept, like models with different colors of jello in their hair, or a series of different flowers all run over by the same BMW. Nothing high art like that. The good thing was that this concept kept me working on this image, but the downside was that it drove me crazy. The fresh seeing and spontaneity that I like to see in my photography was getting harder and harder to come by in this series. In the work work work my vision got to feeling a little dull. But in the end I think it pulled through, and maybe some others in the series are good too.
Luckily I was generally very busy with the camera, in spite of this concept-driven image. I’m very happy with a new lens, which seems to be the best lens for infrared that I’ve ever had. And another new lens that is one of the best I’ve ever had period. Spring is bursting very quickly, and I’ve been making a lot of exposures every day; some walks, some rides on the electric bicycle, some drives. The concept has been getting in the way of publishing much of this suddenly new backlog, but those images will still be there.
Even though the idea-thread of the recent work featured lines of branches and breaking buds across the figure of the mountain, I broke out of it. These branches are only in the sky, just a little into the mountain. The wildness of these just-broken-out leaves and the wild twisted sugar maple branches come back to fresh vision again.
This continues the fresh-from-the camera trend I’ve had in the photo of the week, which is much harder than pulling out an old chestnut from the catalog and bringing it into the world.
This image is for sale (and for larger view) here.