The expressive image is a mystery to most. Great masters talk about the expressive image but few photographers are able to make a truly expressive image. I talk about feeling a lot with other photographers and some do get it others don’t at all. Images that conjure feeling in the viewer that the photographer intends are truly expressive images. This is not easy to do and it starts at the time of exposure. I recently posted an image that people really got that feeling when seeing it but in my analysis I saw two things in the image. First was the total feeling and expressiveness of the image and that is what others saw first and few went beyond that point. The second thing I saw was the lack of perfection. I worked so hard to make the feeling that the image file was stressed to the max as far as I was concerned. I heard no one else with that concern but as an artist I must make decisions as all is not perfection. I did 2 more images in the same way as the first but have not yet posted them but will in the next week or so.
This morning I looked through my files and saw an image that I had a lot of emotion and feeling when I made the exposure. The image was near timberline in the white mountains of California, the light was bright and the rock covering the ground was white dolomite (ancient lakebed compressed to rock) making exposure difficult at best. The main subject was a long-standing dead bristlecone pine weathered by blowing ice during hundreds if not thousands of winters. I looked beyond the bristlecone to the entire environment remembering hiking high up at timberline in the sierras as a boy with my beloved dad. To me the image posted here is expressive of my feeling of high elevation I had as a boy and the starkness of the high country as well as the great survivability of the bristlecone pine.
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