May 09, 2012

Photo of the Week: May 9, 2012

“Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment - this very moment - to stay."
-Sam Abell

HOW I GOT THE SHOT:  For the first time since I started writing this blog, I am resending a photo I originally posted in January, 2008, before many of you joined my mailing list.  The location of this peach orchard is very close to my home and I have returned there on numerous occasions for portrait shoots and to relive the beauty I found there on that March day in 2006 and many times since.

Last month, at the height of the spring blossoming, I scheduled a photo session there and arrived to find the entire orchard had been cut down. Where the robust trees had stood a few days earlier, they now lay in neat piles, the beautiful flowers still in full bloom upon their branches. Immediately, something stirred in my heart, and after a few gasps, an awkward explanation to my subjects and a quick reshuffling of priorities, I completed my assignment.

Later, I began to reflect on why the scene had upset me. I am well familiar with vanishing landscapes, places whose visual grandeur is limited to a single season. I also understand that this land is used for commercial purposes. I don't know whether the trees had outlived their economic value or whether shifts in other agricultural markets warranted a crop change.

For years this has been one of my favorite photographs and an exhibition-size print hangs in my office above my desk. Now that irreversible change has set in, I realize  that my connection to this spot has as much to do with my success there as a photographer as its inherent beauty. And therein lays the potent power of photography. A photograph seals our relationship to a moment in time and place and the act of capturing that moment in a picture also makes it more special. We do our best to resist change but only a photography enables time to stand still. Or so it seems.

TECHNICAL DATA: Nikon D70, tripod mounted, manual exposure, evaluative metering mode, f16 at 1/125th sec., ISO 4800. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 mm zoom at 28 mm.  Date: March 29, 2006, 4:19 p.m. Location: Bat Ayin, Gush Etzion.

1 comment:

Robin said...

It's a beautiful photo, and I can definitely empathize as just last month I returned to my very favorite field of poppies (the subject of an exhibition size print which hangs over my couch) only to discover that in shades of Joni Mitchell they'd been paved over for a big ugly parking lot!