DANCING IN THE TREETOPS
Another year in to the pandemic and more time with the manual settings of my camera, and I really started to dream. There are, after all, many other trees out my window
Much like the wire I love working with, the trees in winter bring a stark contrast of branches bare against the sky. Naked and bold, these branches become dancers that move in the wind. The Tree in Blue and Green seems to shift in the duality of its identity. Dancer Leaning Forward looks to me like a figure whose branches are arms set on its hips, resting before its next move. And the trees that bow and bend remind me of a Cezanne landscape – if he ever dared to paint in black and white – god forbid.
Bush and Grain
Pink Fairy Tale and Fairy Tale in the Fog tease me into the play of fantasy. These images are caught above the roofs of triple deckers in mid Cambridge. Here, some trees gather at rest and offer an illusion of bush or hedge firmly planted in earth. This trick of the eye comes because I enjoy shooting in the low light of dusk or dawn, and doing so forces me to up the ISO setting in my camera, brightening the image and bringing the noise or fuzz or fog that this digital concoction drags with it. Some experienced photographers turn up their noses at this effect, believing it to expose the work of an amateur. I like the looks, though, however much it distorts, turning both fairy tale images into a scene of fakery at sixty or eighty feet high.
Sticks and Stones and Trees and Dancers at Dusk could be dancers too, but they are a caught behind the screen of my window, as if the slight turn of my camera’s lens is enough to shift perspective. The presence of the screen is slight, subtle, and yet these would-be dancers miss the background sky that might otherwise free them in an open setting. Web has no screen – in front, at least, and yet the many branches, smaller in the distance, bring forth the structure of a spider, at once still and yet still moving.
Bobby Vilinsky 2021