The Same But Different

If you've been reading this for awhile you know this is a recurring theme here at NealRantoul.com. The idea of things staying the same but being different too.

Well, we are going there again, but this time in relation to where I now am in Santa Rosa, CA for the next three weeks and how I keep photographing this one tree that sits outside the back door of the cottage I am renting high up on a ridge that is just simply gorgeous every morning when the sun comes up.

I think we're all familiar with this scenario:  aging artist, confined to a rocking chair or perhaps stumbling around using a cane, sits in same spot each day and, pastels in hand, sketches the same tree through the times of day or different seasons. At least in my mind this fantasy results in a mature career artist making fairly quick and gestural responses that encapsulate all the years of experience he/she has into these series of pastels, or charcoals or pen and ink drawings.

Well, photography can do that too. I am not infirmed or confined to a rocker, do not use a cane but I am old and as I sat at the table in the  cottage last week, writing  the posts on Feed Sommer as the sun came up, or it got lighter, I would look up to see this black oak tree right in front of me:

Sometimes it was shrouded in fog, as above, sometimes crystalline clear:

And often with fog yet to burn off in the valley below:

or bathed in sunlight later in the day as the sun headed down:

I think I've got it figured out now. I set up the camera on the tripod the night before I go to bed and its ready to go the next morning as every day is some new and wonderful light show.

Why the comments about the senior artist? Because I think of this as a way to work that is all about the subtle things inherent in long observation of the same thing as it's being altered by light and atmosphere and time of day and maybe the seasons. This kind of keen observation results in imagery that is about the differences between the frames. Are those attributes you associate with a young artist? I don't. 

Next up: The Same but Different in Iceland

Topics: Color,Digital,Northwest

Permalink | Posted February 18, 2014