The photo above shows a moment between a gardener and the plants she oversaw. This image is two weeks old now, and the deep green of the plants coupled with the lack of warm clothing show just how much our weather has changed in the past few days. This image was captured at dusk, with the fading light still reflecting off the rock wall onto the plants below. However, the dark violet tones on the stone have begun to erase the difference between it and the woman’s hair. This was to be the final harvest of her season. Off camera, several more boxes lay in waiting to collect the delicate heart-shaped orbs which clung delicately to the tips of several hundred long stems.
This image was taken without prior intent. Rather, the settings on the Zeiss lens were already prepared for the twenty minutes of beautiful light which arrived each night after the sun set behind the mountains. Only a moment was needed to focus on her hand, positioned gently against the center plant. It was a tender moment, one which ultimately begs the viewer to question who really the subject of this image is. Is it she, the anonymous gardener, or the waiting plant just before her?
At times, an image allows for an unexpected intimacy between unwitting players. Be it a human and bee, or sign and tree, a photo properly taken can expose our eyes to the unseen relationships which populate our world. Producing such an image is a difficult task. However, when it hits, the image itself seems to walk on water. In doing so, it removes from our eyes the veil of an understood world, leaving us only to wonder how we had previously missed it.
[Image taken with a Nikon FE2 shooting a Zeiss 50mm f2 ZF lens. Inside the camera was a roll of Kodak Vision 3 250D expired cinema film. When magic hour hits, this film can truly shine with a half stop increase in exposure.]
(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)