Late Summer Pond

Late Summer Pond

20×24 prints are $2,000
30×40 prints are $4,000

This is an image I photographed, after weeks of study and preliminary work, of the lake in my small rural town. I became attracted to the wild pond lilies, which cover the lake this time of year. Due to the hot summer sun, many of the lily pads became dried and curled, but the plants were still healthy and continue to grow and bloom. The scene continually changed, as the sun moved across the sky during the day, and as the reflections in the water changed with the movement of clouds and the shifting winds on the water.

I began to photograph, and worked over a two week period: observing, photographing; processing and studying the film; and going back to photograph again with new knowledge and insight. I concentrated all my attention on these pond lilies during this time, photographing nothing else.

Finally, the last photograph I took achieved the results I had been looking for! The photograph was taken in the late evening, with the setting sun lighting the lilies from an oblique angle, turning the yellows into golds, with the blue sky and just a hint of clouds reflected in the perfectly tranquil water, and the sky graduating from a gentle pastel to a deep midnight blue color.

It was very fortunate that I got this image, because after that day, the weather changed dramatically, and there were no more opportunities for further work, due to almost constant high winds and rain. One week later, when the rains finally stopped, everything was changed.

Upon study and reflection, the new image seems to represent in a visual sense, the union of two opposites: fire and water. Visually, I find the interplay between the tranquil blue water and the highly energetic green and golden leaves and yellow blossoms to be very exciting. The blues and golds in the photograph amplify and accentuate one another, as does the interplay between the highly active leaves and the calm, pastoral water.

When you view the photograph, the interaction between these elements causes your eye to jump from leaf to leaf to leaf, and the feeling is almost that of watching the flames of a fire. The gold leaves seem almost too bright and hot to focus on for any length of time. Yet at a distance, the complete scene is seen, and it is possible to experience the peaceful balance and sense of wholeness that exists within this creative tension. In many ways, I find this photograph to be a metaphor for life itself, with union of the spiritual and physical, showing birth, life, death, and resurrection.

Format: Large (horizontal)
Location: Oregon
Reference key: lsp