Sunday, May 26, 2013

Go with the Flow

Old Cider - Stillwater, MN
Canon 5D mark iii + 17-40mm f4.0L & 3-stop B+W ND
We've adopted another puppy and with this comes the duality that accompanies every major decision. The fun of jostling a belly with stumpy legs is tempered by sleep deprivation and zero dark-thirty walks. The older dog, Sequoia, must endure the annoyance of puppy teeth in order to eventually have a worthy playmate. Dichotomies are at the root of so many of life's experiences. When we embrace the dichotomy we begin to see with greater clarity.

To produce this photograph I needed to balance my vision with the limits of my circumstance. The light was changing rapidly as heavy winds moved the clouds aloft. The streaky sky was quickly becoming overcast, and the tree I sought to photograph was trembling in the breeze. Rather than fight nature, I let the conditions dictate the process. I must have encircled the tree a dozen times before settling on this vantage point. The apple blossoms were in full bloom, but the wind foiled any attempt to make them my focus. The path of least resistance was to embrace the situation. It was here, before the composition was set, that I knew the image would be a black and white photograph. I added a 3-stop neutral density filter to my 17-40mm lens and zoomed to maximize the size and texture of the trunk. I waited for a massive gust of wind and shot a one-second exposure to capture the rustling of leaves. With windows facing into the apple orchard, I embraced the dichotomy and captured this familiar place in a new way. 

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