Tree Images

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Trees offer a unique subject particularly in the winter when they expose themselves to the world. They are like a 'nude' model presenting their own unique personality. Their 'runway' is all around us whether it is an urban park, in your own backyard, on a street corner or in the forest. We often take the trees for granted and never really look at them. Beside social and communal benefits, they provide environmental benefits by altering the environment in which we live by moderating climate, improving air quality, conserving water and harboring wildlife. In Toronto, we are fortunate with our extensive tree cover and the city has a program to expand that cover.

The 2006 exhibition theme for Contact Toronto Photography Festival at the Gladstone Hotel was 'Urban Optics'. With this in hand, she decided that the focal point of the exhibit would be 'trees'. While she looked at different locations, High Park was the primary location to capture the trees on their 'runway'. With the exception of Tree Series #6, which was shot in a park near the Ontario Food Terminal; all other photographs are from High Park. She shot the series from mid-January to the end of March 2006. In creating this signature series of photographs, she used elements common to her artwork, clouds, textures and shadows.

Some of the photographs were created on her first visit while others took several visits before capturing that perfect image. For example, Tree Series #1, on the west side of High Park near Grenadier Restaurant, took her a month and half before capturing this image. Meanwhile, Tree Series #2 was created about thirty minutes later. Both pictures are of the same tree, the first image was looking west and the second image looking east. People often ask if these shots were taken in a desert.

The Copper Beech tree, Tree Series #5, located next to Toronto's historic Colborne Lodge begs the question of what has the tree gone through during it's life. She created this picture using the afternoon sun to bring out the textures on the trunk. But look closer, you can see arms, feet and eyes.

Each year, thousands of Torontonians flood High Park to catch a glimpse of the cherry trees in bloom. Tree Series #7 and #8 offers a different perspective of the High Park cherry blossom trees, a gift from Japan in 1959 that's been added to since. Her presentation brings out the age and character through the texture of the Japanese Somei-Yoshino Sakura trees.

She captured the majestic oak tree (next to High Park Forest School), Tree Series #12, by positioning the tree on it's own and adding the shadow from the lower right drawing your attention to the tree.

Using the long shadows of a late mid-March afternoon and a red filter, she created Tree Series #17. The shadows leading to the birch tree were much longer and included her camera. Despite trying to eliminate the shadow of her camera, she had to crop that portion of the picture in the darkroom.

Dale M. Reid
Contemporary Fine Art Photography
e -
Creative and Design -
#1013 - 2261 Lake Shore Blvd W
Toronto, Ontario M8V 3X1
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