Finding Beauty

imageDead Tree, Washington. Connecticut © Steven Willard

I don’t know if this image qualifies as beautiful; perhaps to some. To others, it might be considered interesting or thought provoking, or perhaps a complete failure photographically. Personally, I found the scene arresting enough to turn the car around and spend a few minutes photographing it. That’s my question; what moves us to make an image? What is there about a dead tree against a background of living trees that I felt would make for a compelling image? If I could figure out the answer to that question I feel that I would have a better chance finding more meaningful images.  In the absence of such an answer I’m left just operating by feeling. How can that work? How can we find beauty if we can’t define it?

Pentax K5IIs with 35mm macro lens, processed in Photoshop CS4 and converted to black and white in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. I was forced to photograph this image hand held, which with the tremor in my left hand is a challenge. Out of desperation I selected ISO 800, and prayed. To my surprise I find that it worked just fine for this image.


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