Jewels Among the Weeds

Those of you who have read my posts or newsletters know that I have, for a long time, made my living solely by creating and selling landscape photographs of the natural world. For years I practiced and refined my art to create images that expressed the beauty of the light that illuminated the glorious vistas I found here at Point Reyes and in the desert Southwest. These are the images that, for my wife and me, have literally kept food on the table and a roof over our heads. Because this is the work that sustains us, it’s difficult to justify the time it takes to make other kinds of photographs, such as the closeups of glass and liquids I created a few years ago.

The classic landscape continues to beckon, and although I am grateful for the good ones made and how they have provided us, another hunger burns inside. With a small but persistent voice my hunger reminds me, “follow your heart.” I heard that voice the other morning while walking in the wetlands searching for a classic landscape. It was remarkably cold and the field was covered with frost. Even so,  I was not inspired and couldn’t find the spark of creativity.  Then, something caught my eye…  something sparkling. There were jewels among the tall weeds to the south. I walked over to look, and then knelt to look closer. I could not believe the remarkable beauty I found in this space smaller than the palm of my hand.

7 comments on “Jewels Among the Weeds

  1. Marty,
    Amazing images – I am struck by how you have captured the idea of the surrounding winter light, and the Sun low on the horizon, in small details such as the tiny beads of dew. In some sense, it seems to me that the “classic landscapes” you were looking for have been condensed and hidden in the miniature jewels you found instead.

    • Roberto,
      Your comment is insightful and provocative. Although I was taking advantage of the early, low-angle light to bring out details in the closeup photographs, I had not realized that those photographs also captured the feeling of the winter light and early morning. Thanks for perceiving this and taking time to write me about your impressions! The frost that morning was beautiful.

  2. There is something special about the backlighting showing the red through the seeds…enhancing the idea of the “heart”. This may not represent fairly well in BW, so choice of color seems to be fitting. Thanks for sharing your musings!

  3. Marty,
    These are really lovely images, but I notice you didn’t mention the obvious difference from your previous work: they’re in COLOR. Is this a new direction for you, or are you going to convert them to BW? I think they’ll look good either way.

  4. John:
    Yes, thanks for reminding me of Mr. Blake’s transcendental musings! Always appreciate your reaction… I concur.

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