Which of these art pieces would you prefer to hang on your living room wall? If you are instead looking to understand the nature of tree beings, does this change your vote?
The Best View of This Venerable Being
Nature beings deserve as much skill in doing a portrait study as humans. I will do a several-session study of these beings, from different angles, and then in post-processing I will work to present them with as much artistic care as a human portrait photographer provides to their subject. That may involve adding a textured background to the photo, as done here on the right.
But also – as an explorer of the nature spirit realms – I want to provide a clear, living image of the being in their setting. This I have done in the image on the left.
Sometimes I am not certain which objective should take precedence. I would appreciate knowing your opinion on this matter.
Images in a Cedar Log
This is a 4″ tall section of a cedar log that rests in a wooded alcove in the woods at The Clearing, an artists’ retreat in northern Wisconsin. I was focused on photographing a very large cedar raven-shaped root when a tiny but very clear voice kept insisting I also look small and down at my feet. When I finally did so, I discovered this venerable being who wanted to be photographed as well.
So this small alcove is a haven and inspiration anchor point from which ancient world philosophy could permeate the grounds of The Clearing retreat. The raven – symbol of wisdom and sacred to Odin and many Western nature-oriented traditions; and the Chinese scholar, holder of wisdom in the Eastern traditions.