•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Solitude


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: I visited on both Saturday and Sunday mornings as the radiant sun rising, blazed and dazzled across Hilltop Pond. I left reluctantly when winds came and chased the image off the pond.

Monday was entirely different. The lighting god, to whom all landscape photographers pay obeisance, had floated his great diffuser across sky, and autumn was bathed in soft, shadowless glow. When we passed at 2 PM, breezes still roiled the image, so we rode on to Twin Elms. When we returned at 4:30, the winds were just leaving, and melancholy stillness saturated the air, and I thought of Shakespeare's "Bare, ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang."

This was the first shot I took. I was immediately pulled to the hushed banks beneath the trees, a concealed area with electric vegetation, a place to safely take it all in, ...and to the sliver of sky reflecting in the water. The sliver was for me the key to the composition. The trick was to balance it properly with actual sky, while also positioning the tree trunks to lead the eye. Sometimes the gymnastics which guide a composition are immediately evident, not often. I made just two exposures, this, and one in which the reflected bit of sky began near the lower right corner. Now, if only I had a few turkeys strolling off in the background on the left.