Magnum Photos and some thoughts on nature photography

The Magnum Photos blog put up a gallery of tree images from their outstanding stable of photographers, who I normally go to for inspiration and some of the best documentary photography I have ever seen.

No matter what the subject, I am constantly amazed at the thoughtfulness or humor expressed, and the sense of human drama that can be portrayed in a simple scene when the artist behind it brings out its full potential.

I’ll point you to their work, but offer up a few of my own observations as well.

I realized that in quick succession, the slideshow was asking me to imagine an upside down person with two tree trunks as legs in the air, a possible root/tongue brushing through fallen leaves, knotholes representing eyes in various guises, a full-on bikini clad nude, a dance party or ball game, a working stiff resting on a broom handle, some more abstracted geometries and silhouettes that I may have missed the meaning of, intertwined lovers limbs, and many more unexpected double and triple entendres underneath the superficially interesting natural shapes and textures with occasional juxtapositions of people or animals adding more obvious layers of meaning.

It seems that a well trained artist may be able to turn almost any subject into a worthwhile one with enough work.

Although the photos from the following gallery were taken with hopes for developing the skills of those Magnum photographers, I realize they are at their best reasonably nice pictures only occasionally evoking something a little more than what is contained in each image itself.

These were all taken over a couple of hours in the hills near Berkeley with a prime lens and a small camera. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

 

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