"A Crane New Day"
On the longest night,
A new light wakes the Earth-
Dark loses the fight.
The River Greenway Trail in Fort Wayne is a frequent inspiration for my photographic work. The natural landscape is constantly shifting like the sunlight through the leaves of a tree. If the eloquence of this moment isn’t captured at this precise intersection of time, then it becomes a lost opportunity to preserve that exact quality because tomorrow’s influence will somehow alter the way the light plays across the landscape. It is this quality of the trail that finds me frequently returning with camera in hand framing shots of shifting focus.
“A Crane New Day” was photographed while I was riding my bike alongside the bank of the Maumee River. The title of this photograph is a bit of a misnomer. As I was riding, a blue heron flew in for a quick dip in the river. Herons can be extremely skittish birds, so I quietly braked and walked back to a small clearing that allowed me this view of the heron. The majestic bird allowed me several moments to snap a few shots before it took flight and disappeared around a bend of trees jutting out into the river. For that brief moment, I felt connected to something Divine and symbolic of something more than the ordinary passing interaction with nature. It was an honor to be in this moment with the heron; it was kismet my camera was along for the ride.
With this series of photographs, I have entered a new phase of creativity. The focus on subjects randomly encountered around my neighborhood hasn’t changed. It is a shift in process that has grabbed my artistic attention. I took this photograph with the intention of altering the color, saturation, and exposure experimenting with the image to varying degrees in order to re-frame the moment in a different light or context. In this case, the alterations are most noticeable with the appearance of the heron and the leaves. The heron becomes more crane like with its distinguishing tufts of plumage on its head and neck glossed over in a new coat of white feathers. The exaggeration of the contrast completes the transition by developing a shading more akin to watercolors or acrylics. This overemphasis on the shadows is also what creates an ultra-realistic appearance to the leaves transparency in the sunlight as well as the illusion of a somewhat ethereal landscape bathed in moonlight.
These photographs have also sparked an interest in traditional Japanese haiku with its emphasis on nature. “A Crane New Day” inspired a haiku connected to the Winter Solstice. It can also be read with a political slant. That is for another journal entry; however, the scope of this musing’s composition remains centered on the natural elements at work in the imagery and its Romantic tie to the four seasons. My goal is to compose a seasonally themed haiku for each photograph that coincides with the solstices and equinoxes. “A Crane Awakening” represents the Spring Equinox, “A Crane in the Light” depicts the Summer Solstice, and “A Crane in the Night” illustrates the Fall Equinox.