03.14.2020-2 A bit of Nature’s Chaos

Those who know me have heard of my admiration for Eliot Porter‘s photography and especially his Nature’s Chaos collection. When I saw this sagging tree and its reflection I thought of how chaotic the scene was and wondered if it might have an image about it.

There’s an awful lot going on here, but I think the tree’s loop manages to stand out.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
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14 Responses to 03.14.2020-2 A bit of Nature’s Chaos

  1. The reflection has the effect of closing the circle, so to speak. Your picture reminds me of one I took in Canada three years ago, also with other trees complicating the image (you may remember it; it’s the last one at https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/paint-pots-in-kootenay-national-park/).

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  2. In all of the chaos, beautiful symmetry.

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  3. Ann Mackay says:

    The loop looks like a portal to somewhere…great image!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Andrew says:

    Making photographic sense of chaos is incredibly difficult. I often see tangled of branches, vines, tree trunks etc and they look like they ought to make a superb photo. Sadly they normally end up looking a mess. It’s a real talent to make harmony out of nature’s tangles. Nice work Steve.

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    • Thank you, Andrew. Yes, it is difficult. I can’t remember if I have mentioned this photographer to you before. Simon Baxteris a woodland photographer who makes great compositions out of the chaos he explores. His videos are very enjoyable…often being upstaged by his wonderful dog, Meg. I’ve learned a lot about vision watching him.

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  5. Nice Steve! I like the reflection making a full “circle” in all that is going on.

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  6. bluebrightly says:

    This is something I think about regularly. I’m drawn to the poles of absolute simplicity and tangled complexity. The former is easy to pull off (relatively speaking) as long as you have an appropriate subject. But the latter – it’s so hard, and when I think I’ve succeeded, I’m so pleased. The curving branch in your photo is a great organizer for this scene. I wonder if you really had to go the black and white route, which I assume you did to tamp down on the chaos. I don’t know what the colors were, but they’re probably quiet. In any case, I know you always apply a lot of thought to your process and I admire this image of reflected chaos. 🙂

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    • It’s okay in color, Lynn. But you are right, the conversion really sets the circle apart and being able to use the color filters helps with that as well. It’s funny…I usually have to look hard for compositions in all the chaos but this one jumped out at me. I was actually watching geese. 🙂 Thanks.

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  7. shoreacres says:

    The circle formed by the bent tree and its reflection reminds me of my own tendency when reading to circle something I want to remember: in this case, the heavier, diagonal trunk becomes memorable because of the encirclement, and the image resolves into a greater simplicity.

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    • You mentioned in your post about learning to see. Your critique tells me you have learned much already. One technique I used that I think helps to focus on the elements I considered important, the bent tree and reflection and the fallen tree making a line through it is an added vignette to keep the viewer’s interest centered. Often one tries to control where people look in an image, usually by simplifying things as you mention, but also by controlling the light and where it falls.

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