Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The term 'deep woods' might be used to connote a wilderness where civilization is remote, and you have the feeling that you are really in a wild place. In this case I am using it to refer to the feeling that has come over the forest where I walk daily, now that the canopy has filled in with new leaves and the light is a soft-green, with dappled sunlight being the exception instead of the rule as it is during the 'leafless' months. Now, when I let the dogs out of my car, I also put my sunglasses on the passenger seat, and have a feeling that we are 'diving in'.
The leaves are still the brighter and yellower green of spring, but now they are fully leafed out and serve to filter the light that reaches the forest floor. As I stood this morning with a camera on a tripod, hoping to catch a glimpse of the aforementioned Wood Thrush, I began to notice that all around me were little vignettes of the forest and so I began snapping them using a long telephoto.
The effect that one gets when using a long lens at a low aperture setting, i.e. wide open--wherein the background remains out of focus--has a name, from Japanese, 'bokeh', and it can often result in fetchingly soft designs in the overall frame that add a supporting rather than distracting effect to the subject that is in focus. I have come to think of images such as the ones here as Koans, or Haiku and they have a simplicity and a grace about them that I find very appealing.