Why did he take this?
As you look at this image of the cottonwood leaves, what might be the first thought that comes to your mind?: I’m guessing for many, it was “Why did he take this?”. And honestly, I like it when that question arises.
The leaves remind me of one of the first philosophical books I read. Back in the 70’s, I purchase a small paperback titled, “Notes to Myself” (by Hugh Prather). It’s a small book, filled with many short (1 page or less) philosophical thoughts. One I remember: “Standing before the refrigerator: If I have to ask myself if I’m hungry, I’m not.” (Great campfire conversations!)
Without going into a full book review, this book continues to reside on my bookshelf. Every few years I go back and review its’ pages.
The cover of the book is simple. It has two overlapping B&W cottonwood leaves, one dark, the other lighter showing the leaf’s veins. This same image is displayed throughout the book following each “thought”.
Not sure why, though every time I see overlapping cottonwood leaves, the book title always comes to mind.
So, without any further philosophical discussion, this image is the “Note to Myself”, with the leaves each asking their own question. I just need to listen.
Along the shoreline of Harrington Beach grows a number of young cottonwood trees. Each aids in holding the beach together against the wave action (and recent higher water levels) of Lake Michigan.
I was creating images of the different parts of the tree (which now resembles more of a bush) against the blue water of Lake Michigan, when I noticed a small grouping of leaves fluttering in the wind.
As the wind subsided a little, I set the small branch and leaves against an out-of-focused sky in the upper half, and the out-of-focus Lake Michigan in the lower half. This keeps the leaves - with a purposely narrow depth of field - at the heart of all the action. The viewer is now, without distraction, free to take in all the “notes” that each leaf is willing to share.
File ID: PHP_IMG_14851
1Ds Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L III USM
focal length 120 mm
ISO 50, 1/1000 second, f/4
spot metering, manual, Gitzo tripod, 2 second mirror lock-up delay
Harrington Beach State Park, Belgium, Wisconsin