If I had apprenticed under Ansel Adams, I am sure I would have been greatly influenced by his attention to image detail and the ‘Group F-64’. On my personal journey, however, I was influenced more by painting artists. My grand-mother painted, my father painted, and my younger sister and her husband were both professional painting artists. Together, they have had a profound influence on my approach to photography. The following three images speak to that influence.
Over the Christmas holidays I was laid up with the flu, unable to photograph the winter wonderland I saw out my bedroom window. But on December 28th, I bundled up and went for a short walk with my camera.
The trees were laden with snow and I felt swept up with those winter and Christmas feelings I experienced as a kid growing up in Eastern Canada. As I began to make images, I had no intention of trying to replicate the scenery around me. The drooping branches clad in white, were all about childhood feelings. With the influence of painters, I set about trying to capture those Christmas winter memories.
Although it was an evergreen forest, there was not a hint of green. The only contrast I could discern were the darker tones of tree trunks. I used them as my strongest compositional elements in my painterly renditions of the winter forest.
only three tree trunks
My only other feelings that day were those of the -25 degree temperature. When processing these images, I preserved those feelings by not eliminating the cool blue cast. To do so would have eliminated my true feelings about the cold temperature.
On that single hour’s walk with my camera, my thoughts, feelings, and memories were far more important to me than merely portraying the appearance of the trees and the forest. It was a most memorable birthday walk on a cold day in a winter forest.
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