“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.Β  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.”

Joyce Kilmer

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.”

Neil Gaiman

In my mind, Neil Gaiman’s quote sums it up perfectly 😊.

Happy Halloween everyone! See you next week.



  1. what spectacular shots….just LOVE the soft sepia touch…their details are quite magnificent !! Joyce is proud I’m sure😘

  2. You seem to have found your voice quite well, these shots are special… I’ve got to say the swaying Spanish moss evokes a great feeling of the past, and I think that also comes with this light sepia tone you used. It must have been inspiring to hear Joyce’s thoughts about photography and creativity ~ definitely treats for our eyes.

    • Thanks so much Charlie – it’s amazing the way the moss takes nourishment from the tree and the tree benefits from the shade the moss provides. Nature is amazing sometimes.

  3. How wonderful that you got to see Joyce at a workshop! I own her book, Intimacy, and really like it. I also like what you’ve done with the sepia in your photos – great look.


  4. Tina – Looking at these beautiful, ethereal trees made me realize how much I’ve missed your
    blog. Your photos of the trees are as lovely as Joyce’s – love the sepia tones. Thank you so much for sending them to me.

  5. Yes, I remember memorizing that lovely poem too. I especially liked Symbiotic..the “softness and crispness” of the subject and the blurred background. I’m stealing your quote at the end and passing it on. Thank you.

  6. These are such eery photos, Tina. But ever so lovely, as usual. The trees certainly look like they were from another era, and sort of reminiscent of Chinese black and white paintings in the olden days. What a privilege to have heard that talk by Joyce Tenneson. Finding your voice, such an interesting point of discussion. I suppose when it comes to finding our voice in our art – be it photography, writing, painting, music etc. – we have to question what’s important to us and why we are doing what we are doing. It is indeed about the journey – the journey that often teaches us life’s lessons, love and self-expression πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Mabel – I hadn’t thought of the Chinese B&Ws but your’re right, they are evocative of those (which i absolutely love BTW). Yes, the journey – always good to remind ourselves that’s what it’s all about!!

  7. This collection of trees is spectacular. The sepia treatment gives the images all they need to be representative of the holiday. Thanks for taking the time to share these images with us.

  8. I love your take on the theme this week, Tina. Your muted, soft colors are in direct contrast with the colorful confections I hope to post as soon as I snap my planned photos in the next few days!

  9. Wow that is surely a treat. How envious am I. What a wonderful 2 hours that would have been. I also love your trees. They are a landscape photographers model I think.. I always try to find one to add to my pictures if I can. Lovely πŸ™‚

  10. Wow, beautiful interpretation, Tina. Trees are perhaps my favorite object of nature to photograph. They are fascinating and each tells its own story. This was truly a lovely and “hauntingly beautiful” post!

  11. Beautiful and haunting. Perfect for Halloween! Will be in town again around Nov. 11 and leaving the following Thursday. Quick trip – Jim getting recognition in Charleston for 37 years as a dealer and 40 years being on staff of Yale Trucks.

    Maybe Tues. evening? Let us all check calendars.

    Hope you are both well.

  12. Fascinating post…. T…. How fortunate to be exposed to such a master….. I am thinking about that voice of yours….. You have been gifted with much… The art of your photography and the art of chosen words always lend themselves to fresh perspectives, and always a higher road taken….

  13. Tina, a genuinely beautiful post. I found myself pulled into the peace, mystery and the stories the trees undoubtedly would be able to tell if I only knew how to listen. Your choice of sepia really works here. Makes it exchanged to look at…. Happy Samhain, Tina.

  14. You are right about glorious specimens!
    How wonderful to be inspired by such an important photographer, too. I always like your quotations that accompany your stellar images.

  15. Beautiful homage to Joyce’s presentation, Tina. What an inspiring photographer and talk that was! Love your conversions to soft sepia – interesting with the white vignetting and frames.

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