Tag Archives: tree

defocusing the negative spaces

emergent benefice © 2006, 2016 Jered Dawnne

emergent benefice © 2006, 2016 Jered Dawnne

sometimes, it’s the repetition that pays off: the coming back to it, coming back to it, coming back to it again, until something finally begins to take shape and form. i have been lost in negative spaces these past several weeks, ranging somewhere between the singular joy that is bound to security and that certain pensiveness that is walking into the unknown alone.

i was lost in negative spaces when i took this photo in a small grove of trees near a graveyard outside of Madison, Wisconsin nearly ten years ago, too. in working on it today, i used the negative spaces in the photograph as a catalyst to stepping outside of the negative spaces within my head right now. the mantra it’s been too long, it’s been too long, it’s been too long bent a knee to better ideals today, and so i spun the negative spaces along the golden ratio.

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production values

I have not been idle; I have actually been quite productive!

In reassembling my catalogues, I was saddened to discover all that the files I burned from last summer’s (2014) trip to Alberta, were unfortunately compromised by the addition of unintended compression. And since I lost the processed RAW and master files from that shoot due the drive failures of early this year, I would actually have to reprocess everything and come up with new production files. This was quite discouraging at first, because it represented a lot of work, especially where the two 180-degree panos were concerned.

However, when I started digging into those photos, as well as others from previous years, the process of reprocessing all these images has somehow managed to become a joy again. While it’s unfortunate that I will have to pull everything out of fineartamerica.com and other places where I sell and replace them with reworked masters, given the improved clarity and less-grainy monochrome processes that I’ve been working with, these revisions have more impact, and since I’m not pressed for time, they can also receive more attention than the originals ever did.

Back last Spring, I think it was, I made a promise to myself to get out and shoot more. That hasn’t happened as much as I would have desired this year, but I think the focus I put onto some other forms of personal improvement were worth the distraction. I did, however, manage to do two things that are important to me: The first is that I (finally) have all my images together in one place and am well towards a standardization of process that improves everything from digital asset management to the quality of the finished works; the second is that I have (also finally) managed to overcome the internal flux that was my love-hate relationship with post-production, and converted it to a simple, joyful love.

The image below is a rework from last summer, originally published under the title “prominence twain” in a couple of versions. Until I remove/redo the contents of the “Grey Mountain” collection, the “darklight” version will remain there, but I believe you’ll find the retitled and reprocessed version below to have more standing.

twisted proximity (passive resistance) © 2014, 2015 Jered Dawnne

twisted proximity (passive resistance) © 2014, 2015 Jered Dawnne

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underTree and overWrought

underTree and overWrought © 2007 Jered Dawnne

underTree and overWrought © 2007 Jered Dawnne

This walk I took that day: a winding, twisted path through half-faded memories and fractured emotions, engraved new scars on a forty-year-old man still struggling with the all that never was, and frustrated by the need to deal with it. I came here for a moment of solace, but that moment was a fragile thing, compared against the history of this place and its echoes across time.

This is the courtyard around the fountain at the Alamo mission: a place where many people died, long ago. There were many days in my youth, when I was supposed to be “helping” at my adoptive father’s office at City Hall, when I’d steal some time away and come sit under this tree, just sitting, listening, and sometimes comparing the silence to how it might have sounded when the fighting was all done. Yes, I was a morbid kid, internally, anyway. My parents would have been amazed had they known what I was doing: the just sitting, just listening, just…being. Odd things for a clinically hyperactive child.

When I was eleven or twelve, I ran away from home. This was the first place where I stopped. The courtyard was very different, late at night, and not at all welcoming. It was a foreshadowing I failed to recognize until I visited it again, on this day, but it was also a temporary thing. I had always brought my fears to this tree, but that night, I made new ones beneath it. It was the night I realized that eventually, I would very much be on my own in truth, and that I was woefully unprepared to be the man that I would become.

I took this photo after a drive through my old neighborhood, and past my childhood home a couple of times. I couldn’t stop there, of course; home hadn’t been home since 1985: nearly twenty-two years, on this particular day. So, I came here to find a moment’s peace. Of all the images that haunt me in my dreams, and which ultimately faded after my visit that day, this tree still rides along with me, and this place still frames some reveries.

Of course, it looked very different, that late-winter noon in 2007. I probably hadn’t been there since 1983 or 4, truth told. My ties with my adoptive family were incredibly strained by my first year of high school, and they eventually disowned me in 1993. But still, that old oak greeted me with open arms, rooted in the memories of the dead and forgotten, very much like I am rooted still in the abandoned memories of a former self.

And I didn’t become the man I thought I would be, on that night, long before. It felt like I needed to let my old friend know this. Thus I indulged myself, but it was what I needed at the time.

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