Thursday, April 21, 2011

april 2011

 NOTE:  To view the photos mentioned in this blog, go to the following website:

  click on the gallery: April 2011 

 TREES - three photos:

The month of April allowed me to do some photography of overcast skies and muddy fields.  I have been eyeing a particular mature elm tree south of Sunderland (near UMass - Amherst campus) all winter and finally had the opportunity to spend an hour photographing this magnificant tree.  Ironically, the tree is right in the middle of tobacco fields and barns.  However, for some reason, the owners have left this healthy elm by itself, a reminder of a tree species that was decimated by Dutch Elm disease in the last three decades.

I have also included in this blog a photo of a mature oak tree in a cemetery near Bernarston, Ma.  It is diffucult to find mature hardwood trees by themselves.  Cemeteries and golf courses are two areas where one might be able to photograph a large, broad deciduous tree.

The third photo was taken in Brattleboro, on a side street near the Connecticut River.  The blending of artful stonework and the twisted trunk of the tree go well together.  It would be interesting to return to this street in fifty years to see how the composition has changed.

DOUGLAS COX - VIOLIN MAKER - sixteen photos:

In preparation for a submission to the Vermont Center for Photography, I have done a series of photographs of Douglas Cox, a violin maker from West Brattleboro, Vt.  Douglas studied violin making in Germany in the 1980's and has been making world-class instruments for the past twenty years.  For additional information of Cox Violins, see

While photographing Douglas in his studio, I wanted to focus on the hand tools he uses as well as the various stages of construction of these musical instruments.  He uses only local maple and spruce in his construction (his 2011 violins are constructed from wood that has been seasoned for twenty years in his barn).  The sole electrical equipment is a band saw to cut out the basic shape of the body of the violin.  All other work is done by hand tools of various size and sophistication.  To include a personal touch to the gallery,  I photographed Douglas' teapot as well as his signature from a 1992 violin. 


The final work this month involved a trip to the local grocery store to photograph various fruits and vegetables.  This project was motivated by a recent purchase of a Canon 100mm macro lens which I was quite eager to use (and justify the price).  Closeups of the produce was very rewarding since I was able to capture the intricate textures and structures.  The bok choy was particularly photogenic.  The avocados were shot at home and I was pleased with the nice shapes, forms, and textures from the two pieces of fruit.

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