‘The Tangled Garden’ *

The-Tangled-Garden(click on image for a larger and more detailed view)

*the modern, gritty, winter version.

Which is not at all like the *original Tangled Garden that inspired the title: a painting made almost 100 years ago, all brush strokes and rich autumn colours. The image here is urban: all road salt and gravelly snow at the edges of the concrete city. ‘Painted’ in 1/20th of a second at the press of a button.

But it would be very difficult to create this image again. The landscape and the light change continually. The synthesis of camera movement and car speed would never quite be the same. To me there is something hopeful and lovely about the whole gritty mess; a push and pull between the focused and blurred, between earth and snow. I like, too, how the subtle flecks of gold graze some of the vegetation – the last bit of light before it falls away. And the idea of painting with a camera, and making images that we might not actually see otherwise (but perhaps still feel).

© Karen McRae, 2015

35 thoughts on “‘The Tangled Garden’ *

  1. It’s beautiful, and there’s so much to think about here. I like the idea of making images that we might not see, but somehow feel. And you could say the Impressionists did that, but it’s different with a camera, as you point out.

    1. Thank you, Lynn.
      This image feels transitional to me – like the edges of all sorts of things bumping up against one another: nature and humanity, winter and spring, painting and photography…
      I should have spent more time fleshing out the words to go with the photograph, but I’m still thinking about how it makes me feel.

      1. Thanks very much, Mary! I’m glad you like it, it must speak to you in some way if it’s a scene you would want to paint; That’s a lovely comment to make.

    1. Thank you, Jane,I like your thoughts. That last bit of warm light from the winter sun… There’s something hopeful about seeing last year’s vegetation making it through the winter, even all tangled and gritty.

  2. love your philosophy! “painting with a camera” and making images that aren’t seen but are Felt…. How Inspiring! The image you created is just beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Deb. I’m not sure I express my thoughts in writing very well (they are tangled too!) but I’m really happy you like the photograph and find it inspiring.

    1. Thanks, Ashley. : ) I am liking this one too.
      I have stood before the painting I have linked to and it’s quite beautiful in real life. It’s rather ‘Canadiana’, I suppose.
      (I didn’t want to use the title without giving credit – the relation between the images is merely in the bend of a stem…)

  3. As pure as the driven
    snow but
    nothing so pure as
    being purpose-driven.

    “the idea of painting with a camera, and making images that we might not actually see otherwise (but perhaps still feel).”

    This is precisely why I love Lensbabies so much. I was just trying to
    explain to someone why you would choose to use such a thing rather than attempt to get a “perfect digital negative” (their words–terrifying concept in my mind) and achieve any “effects” in post. For me, it is all about the moment. That instant, that juxtaposition of uncountable elements, that un-repeatable moment. I think that if you do not get this, then explanation is somewhat futile. You’ve missed the point already. You’ve missed the moment.

    “Maybe that is the point and the purpose of being a poet; to describe what can’t ever be again.”
    –Barbara Lansky

    I think this perfectly applies to photographers as well. Even if they’ve missed it.

    Peace–

  4. I love your car photos like paintings, Karen. I more feel them than se them – they give me more contact with my soul..with something bigger.. can you feel that? :-)<3

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