As I was walking along the main path in the Arnold Arboretum, I was struck my a tree that looked very white in the intense light and seemed to be reaching up with two arms beseeching heaven. My head is always cluttered with mythology, both photographic and spiritual, and what immediately came to my mind was photosecessioniust Annie Brigman’s 1908 image “The Soul of the Blasted Pine.” Figure 1 is a copy of this and shows the soul of the tree departing its blasted stump as it reaches to the sky. I was very moved by this picture when I first saw it at the RISD Museum.
I experimented with the scene and the lighting to see if I could in some way capture my sense of Annie Brigman’s image in the tree at the Arboretum. I moved around the tree looking for the best angle to capture a sense of feminine curves and arms reaching upward. My best efforts are shown in Figure 2. I am not quite sure that I have succeeded and leave it to the reader to decide. In that regard showing my oicture here is a kind of self indulgence. I consider it to be a first attempt and will store away what worked and what didn’t work so that the next attempt can be more successful.