After weeks of bleak, cold and snowy weather, we had a nice preview of spring this past weekend. Heavy coats, gloves, hat and scarf were ditched and traded out for lighter clothing. Windows were opened for the first time in awhile. Moods seemed to brighten as well, and everyone seemed to take advantage of it. Now we all know that winter is not over of course, and many a hope of early spring are dashed once March comes around, but for this weekend, we could sense it. When we get a tease like this our minds race forward to budding trees, lush grass and bright colors after months in the ‘darkness’ of winter. I know mine certainly does but then I am reminded that winter really does have a unique beauty to it as well, despite the darkness and the cold. The starkness of the background, contrasted with the silhouette of the tree branches in this photo is appealing to me. The twists and turns of the branches can really only be viewed like this in winter, and they appear almost like the veins in your hands. In a month or so buds will begin to blossom and the starkness will be replaced with vibrancy. But as a photographer, I have learned that they can both be equally beautiful.
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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle
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As a teenager growing up in the 1980’s I had a lot of the usual influences-MTV for music, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Star Wars for movies, and TV shows like Hill Street Blues. In addition, appearing in newspapers (remember them?) starting in about 1980 was a comic strip called Bloom County written by Berkely Breathed that loomed large in my life at the time. The lovable but honest characters of a Mid-West town included the precocious Milo Bloom, his wishy-washy sidekick Michael Binkley, the loathsome Steve Dallas, the fun loving wheelchair bound Vietnam veteran Cutter John, but especially the naive, yet honest penguin Opus. I loved the strip for its often timely stories that were presented in a funny way. It poked fun at the major news-makers of the day, but was never truly vicious. Occasionally though, as an extension of Breathed’s pen, the characters captured the mood perfectly.
To anyone who especially read the early days of the strip ‘the meadow’ was a central location to the storyline. Quite often the characters would sit in the meadow, ruminating on various topics, or reciting silly poetry. There was always a punch line. But in one particular post that has stuck with me long after my once prized editions of Bloom County books became relegated to the bottom of my bookshelf and scarcely looked at, the meadow served as a perfect analysis for something not so silly. It became a place of shutting off the interference and noise of society. Of bad news and violence. Of shouting and screaming. It became an all too brief moment of respite. The other day while walking the grounds of the Storm King Art Center, I came across a scene that reminded me once again of that strip, and just like the fictional characters in that Bloom County cartoon, I wanted to take a ‘Mass Dandelion Break’ too.
A note about the order of these. More than likely you have landed here after clicking the menu option for My Four Seasons at the top of the page. Unfortunately this puts the series out of order, and I cannot change it. If you wish to read the entire series, you will have to start at the bottom with ‘Spring’ and work your way up. Sorry about that!
For my four part blog series My Four Seasons I used photographs of trees I took throughout 2014. As I explained in the introduction to the series I stumbled upon a method of photographing them in a different way. I enjoyed the viewpoint of standing under the trees and looking up, seeing the contortions and twists that are not seen as easily when viewed standing away from them. I thought I might share all of these, as well as a few additional shots that did not make it into the blog in one separate photo blog. Enjoy!
All photographs by Robert P Doyle All images in this blog are available in limited supply for purchase as unframed prints. Sizes may vary. Contact via firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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