I am pretty sure that the vast majority of people have fallen madly in love at least once in their lives. In the beginning, it is both an emotional and physical roller coaster. Dopamine is doping, you could care less about food, and adrenaline flows like a river in the spring. Maybe it is not falling in love but the rampage of infatuation.
I’ll bet that all creatives feel this way at some point in the process of their art. Seamlessly and unexpectedly, the moment arrives. Everything comes together: the lessons learned, the technique mastered, the perfect environment, the exact tools in hand. And at the same time, the subject matter magically appears in your world. That one; the one thing that makes your heart sing, elevates your mood, and makes you smile once you set your eyes upon it. Every. Single. Time.
A couple years ago, I found my photographic raison d’etre: bare trees. I started with nudes (bare limbs) and now I am beginning to appreciate the mystery and seduction of clothing (leaves). I’ll bet by this summer’s end (August for me), when the deciduous trees are fully cloaked in their luscious mantle of green leaves that I will be just as attracted to them as naked trees, thanks to my latest passion, digital infrared photography.
You see, infrared (IR) photography loves contrast. The dark bark of the wood is in contrast to green foliage, which renders itself white. This is the allure of IR for me: the high contrast. While I do appreciate a color image converted (via post-processing software) to black and white for the value of a broad range of monochromatic tones, I am discovering that my muse is contrast and trees have become my lovers (yes, a girl can have a stable of them with no repercussions from the judgment of society).
Yesterday I spent several hours wandering about at the northern edges of The Pine Barrens (also known as the Pinelands) of New Jersey. It is a tree-filled area covering over 1.1 million acres or 20% of the entire state of New Jersey. Imagine this wilderness in between two major metropolitan cities: Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY. And I mean wilderness: a place to consume any type of food or find a bathroom is impossible to locate. Don’t even think about a hotel. When you find a loo, drop a pin if you can get cell service.
Not sure if it this new (to me) subject matter is infatuation or real love. In the end we all know that real love is different from infatuation. Real love happens over time as a relationship develops. It requires practice, focus, give and take, patience, tolerance, and flexibility. Just like our art.