11.30.2020 Monochrome Monday

I’ve been driving by a little temporary pond along Route 122 for years, always looking to see if there is a composition lurking there somewhere.  I’ve never quite been happy with my efforts in winter, spring, or summer, and autumn foliage just hasn’t quite seemed right ether. Saturday before stopping by the bridge in New Salem, I noticed these lichen covered maple trees and saw the possibility of processing the image in black and white, brightening the trees, and darkening the background to make them really dominate.

First impression as I walked around trying to find an angle that would include the entire horizontal branches was that too much “else” was being added and confusing the composition so I decided to embrace them leaving the frame. All other angles allowed forward leaning interference from other trees that would be out of focus.  Does it work for you?

One of my favorite Eliot Porter images is this that I am sure influenced my vision here.

I don’t try to copy others but I pay attention to what is out there and like most photographers retain that subconsciously. We are the total of all our experiences and at our best when we learn from others and then go our own way.

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.
This entry was posted in Black and White, Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography, Patterns in Nature, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to 11.30.2020 Monochrome Monday

  1. Littlesundog says:

    I like what you did with this image, Steve. Lichen is always fun to observe. I like your word “lichenized”. My mom has been on this “I’m too old” phrase for just about everything. I always tell her, “I hope I’m never too old”, but I think that especially goes for the learning aspect. Remaining open to discovery and incorporating what we learn (if we choose) helps us to flourish!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely, Lori. There is no end to learning and the acquisition of knowledge. Like you, I hope to never lose interest in new things and expanding on what I already know. That said, I do recognize that I am too old for some things basically because my body tells me so. My rock hopping days are behind me. 🙂
      Glad that you like the image. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, the quandaries we face when we look for a good composition. I’m with you in not wanting any forward-leaning interference from other trees that would be out of focus. What you settled on works pretty well, I’d say.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The B&W version is nice. This is a hard (impossible) image to get right without color. You did it. 👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If Eliot Porter’s branches can extend out of the image, then you may be excused for the same execution. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unintentionally mine are mimicking the branches in his. Thanks for pointing that out, Bob. Guess the rules for eliminating distracting compositional elements are important…until they’re not. Much appreciated.


  5. Mike Powell says:

    The image works really well for me, Steve. I love how you were able to capture so well the texture of the lichen.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. melissabluefineart says:

    It sure does work. I can see the influence of Porter’s work at work here, but your image is unique.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. krikitarts says:

    The enhanced monochrome treatment works very well here, and you’ve brought out the details in this flourishing lichen crop in fine fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    I like it, I’m always liking the lichen!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ms. Liz says:

    Oh I love this Steve! The influencing photo is also very interesting. From a purely personal perspective like if your b&w were mine, and I was going to print it to go on my wall, I’d crop off the branchy top-part and just do the bottom portion which has oodles of interest all on its own. Much admiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Val says:

    I love your monochrome image – the patterns on the bark really stand out.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. shoreacres says:

    Your image has one thing the Porter image doesn’t: those interesting little ‘tassels’ in the upper right. I suspect they might be seeds, but they’re certainly a fun addition. All the horizontal branches seemed to be pointing toward them.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bluebrightly says:

    Your last paragraph is so clearly stated and so right-on. Eliot Porter was the first photographer I was aware of when I was a girl. I had one of his books in paperback and used to pour over it. Your composition is beautiful, with those gracefully wavy horizontal branches in just the right places!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lynn. There were three books that greatly influenced my interest in photography. All were the smaller versions of the Sierra Club’s series. The first was “Navajo Wildlands” by Philip Hyde and the two others, “In Wildness is the Preservation of the World” and “The Place No One Knew” by Porter. I was disappointed when I learned how he made his bird photographs but he atoned for that further on.

      Liked by 1 person

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