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Tree on hill

Costilla Lone Tree I


This week I spent some time in the Costilla wilderness in northern New Mexico. The high elevation mountains and changing aspen leaves were breathtaking. Waking up to rain was mildly dissapointing as I had hoped to photograph the aspens bathed in brilliant light. Instead of light, showers washed over everything for most of the morning. Later, as some light began to filter through the thin clouds, the mountainsides turned into a black and white photographers play-ground.


I had watched this tree on a low hill for most of the morning, waiting for the clouds to shift into place and allow some light to capture it. Finally, things lined up and I framed the hill with the two tips of hills on either side. I like how the vapor-like cloud above it almost mimicks the shape of the tree, and how the gentle diffused light spills over the front of the hill in diagonal lines. Best of all, I love the feeling of ‘alone-ness’ that the tree represents, which is exactly how I felt in this raw wilderness. As though we were timidly stepping out onto the hill, completely surrounded by the wild land yet so terribly alone.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Dallin
    October 8, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Beautiful setting, use of clouds and positioning.
    I’ve said it once, and I’m sure on this site I’ll say it several more times:
    I’m always hesitant to label photographers as artists. I mean, we just capture a portion of beauty and call it our own. It’s like taking just a few Van Gogh’s stars from “Starry Night”, framing them and calling yourself an artist!
    However, what you do Jack, IS art. Your use of the camera, framing, patience, etc proves, inarguably, that what you create is art.
    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to further updates. I’m so glad I found this site!

  2. Infinite Monkeys
    October 8, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    The first thing I noticed were the clouds which look epic and grand. Then I noticed the tree standing along on the hill and it looked so lonely. This is the kind of picture that I look for to inspire me. I see stories and histories played out on that hill, all witnessed by that lone tree.


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