Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Incomparable Starkness Of Trees


Why is it that everyone likes taking photos of trees? Part of it probably has to do with how the branches look like tentacles reaching out into the sky, reaching blindly into the unknown. Some people probably draw parallels between tree branches and the seemingly random twists and turns of life itself.

Or, maybe part of trees' allure to photographers is the way branches look like roads, and represent, in a symbolic way, all the infinite number of possibilities there are in everyday life. That could be it, too.

Generally speaking, dead trees, and trees that have shed their leaves for the winter, are way more photogenic and picturesque than live ones. That's another strange paradox related to trees.

You'd think that at their leafiest, trees would be perfect symbols of health and robustness, and they are, because without them, life would never have evolved beyond slimy lizards crawling out of the primordial oceans.

But somehow, the naked tree, framed against the sky, is far more of a poignant symbol.

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