I’ve been having some trouble with oaks this summer. Nothing serious, like a branch falling on my car or anything, just photographic trouble.
You see, I’ve been working on capturing summer trees. I want them to feel light and bright and airy. Oaks are one of the many kinds of trees we have in the area, so I want them to be part of my treescapes.
Last year, one of the few summer treescapes I created was this one, called Summer Oak. It has the feeling I’m looking for.
I can’t get it to happen again. Over and over, I photograph the oaks. I try different angles and compositions, and nothing seems to work. I’ve tried editing them anyway, only to come up with images that are heavier. More solid. It just doesn’t have the same feeling, does it?
So I’d just about given up on the oaks. Until last week…
Last week there was a full moon. It hung in the sky above the trees, bright but too small to capture with the iPhone. Inspired, I worked with shapes and backgrounds and created a “moon” hanging in an autumnal sky. It was kind of boring on its own, just floating there, so I looked through my tree images to see what could ground it.
And there it was, the oak. It was perfect.
It made me realize that I was going about the oaks all wrong. Oaks are not light and airy trees. They are grounded and well-rooted trees. They can hold the moon to the earth, they are so solid and strong.
There is no trouble with oaks at all. Just trouble with me, trying to make oaks into something they were not meant to be.