November 10, 2014
Along with water, trees have been a major focal point throughout my career, first while working in forestry for some 18 years and then as a nature photographer for the other half of my working career.
Trees, however, offer much more than practical benefits. They also have a way to make us feel good! Trees have inspired countless artists in their art and are fascinating subjects in themselves. Whether they are depicted as individual objects or as part of a forest scene, they offer the viewer limitless variations on the themes of line, shape, form, texture and color. There is a tree for all seasons!
Trees, however, offer much more than practical benefits. Trees have inspired countless artists in their art and are fascinating subjects in themselves. Trees have a way to make us feel good! Whether they are depicted as individual objects or as part of a forest scene, they offer the viewer limitless variations on the themes of line, shape, form, texture and color. There is a tree for all seasons!
Text from 'A Singular View' - Fine Art Photographs by Mike Grandmaison (2012)
Design by Jef Burnard
Printed by Friesens in Altona, Manitoba
This 'stately' cottonwood is a recent discovery, about 10 minutes from my home. While it is a great specimen, it is not always accessible as the narrow 'dirt road' leading to it is more or less made from 'Winnipeg gumbo' and becomes extremely slippery when wet, even for an all-wheel-drive vehicle. In the middle of winter, the road is not plowed and therefore it is also impassable until the ground dries up in late spring. I made this image yesterday morning just as the first rays of the rising sun began to illuminate the 'plains cottonwood' tree and its wonderful branch structure as the moon was setting in the western sky. I made three, overlapping images (up and down the tree) to create a panorama with the 'shifting' movement of my 20mm PC lens (perspective control). I then decided to crop the image to a square format because it just 'felt good'.
In anticipation of the lunar eclipse, I went out last night at sunset to view the full moon rising above the prairie. I captured the moon cradled by a large cottonwood near Grande Pointe. As the moon rose beyond the layer of cloud above the horizon, it began to take on a pinkish cast for a while until it got higher.
Winter sprang into Spring today but ever so slowly! After I dropped off my grandson at pre-school this morning, I headed straight to Grande Pointe to photograph a huge cottonwood tree I discovered last fall. With the milder temperatures and snow covered landscape, the humidity hovered at 92% resulting in a heavy fog that blanketed the entire countryside. I brought the rather monochromatic image into 'onOne Software's 'Perfect Enhance' preset and added a slight warm vintage effect. While some of the trees in this area were quite heavily laden with hoarfrost, the sun never did break through the fog until past noon after which the hoarfrost disappeared quite quickly. On the bright side, birds are beginning to return and I even heard the sound of a pileated woodpecker nearby. 'Knock on wood' that spring is just around the corner!
Speaking of pileated woodpeckers, 'Knock on Wood - Winter Piece' is one of my favorite compositions from Ian Tamblyn's 'Over My Head' CD (1986). I have spent countless hours driving around the countryside listening to this superb CD of instrumental music blended with bird songs. The CD came about when Ian received a commission from the Canadian Museum of Nature to present a concert celebrating a forthcoming bird exposition. Since then, whenever I hear a pileated woodpecker, I think of my good friend Ian. Personally, I think Ian is one of our fine musical heroes who has celebrated a lifetime of writing and singing about love and the environment. Ian was the recipient of the 2010 'English Songwriter of the Year' Award from the Canadian Folk Music Awards held in Winnipeg as well as a 1976 'Juno Award Winner' for his self-titled album 'Ian Tamblyn'. And ...speaking of Juno Awards, they are coming back to Winnipeg next week, bringing us back full circle! Ah yes, CIRCLE ! I am very excited about starting another major project with Circle / Tétro and Plaines to be announced shortly. The thought of Spring can make you go in circles ...