“I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree.”
This week in honor of Halloween, we have been asked to illustrate the concept of a “Treat“. Now you may think (also in honor of the holiday) that my opening capture is a bit spooky, but actually it represents a very special treat that I experienced this week.
“A tree whose hungry mouth is prest, against the sweet earth’s flowing breast.”
I was privileged to attend a 2-hour presentation by Joyce Tenneson, one of the most acclaimed photographers of our time. Among other things Joyce, who represents Canon as one of their “Explorers of Light”, has been named Photographer of the Year by Women in Photography and has received a lifetime achievement award from Professional Photographers of America. A poll conducted by American Photo Magazine voted her one of the 10 most influential women in the history of photography. Her work is truly inspirational, as was her presentation. A serious treat for anyone interested in photography.
“A tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray.”
Joyce spoke at some length about “finding your voice” – a personal style that pervades a body of work – such that it becomes instantly recognizable. Searching for your voice may take longer for some than for others, but isn’t it all about the journey anyway? In fact, Joyce told us the importance of the journey was a key message expressed by none other than Maya Angelou during her portrait shoot for Joyce’s best-selling book Wise Women.
“A tree that may in summer wear, a nest of robins in her hair.”
Another of Joyce’s books “Trees and the Alchemy of Light” (don’t you just love that title?!) immediately brought to my mind the beautiful oaks that grace our landscapes here in the south. I’ve chosen to show them today in soft sepia, lightly treated with cloud textures by French Kiss.
“Upon whose bosom snow has lain; who intimately lives with rain. “
As treats go, these glorious specimens are as good as it gets for a photographer, or for any lover of nature. Their gnarled trunks and branches have been shaped over the years by the wind and salt water to which they are constantly exposed. Their symbiotic relationship with the delicate, lacy Spanish mosses serves only to enhance their beauty.
“Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.”
I can so easily remember learning the “Trees” poem way back in my New Jersey grade school, where its author was perhaps our most famous native son. It wasn’t until many years later that I began to appreciate the emotion he must have felt while writing it.
“The only thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”
In my mind, Neil Gaiman’s quote sums it up perfectly 😊.
Happy Halloween everyone! See you next week.