U3AC Photo Forum Challenge #4

Sixteen participants contributed 43 images in response to Tim Ewbank’s challenge to photograph something beginning with ‘T’.  T’s came as nouns and adjectives, concrete and abstract, from trees, tea sets and the Thames to threats, time and translucence.  Eric Smith took on Tim’s ruling that there could be no tigers during lockdown through the surreal use of a mask.  A few others felt free to include images not made during lockdown.  We Zoomed to look at and discuss the images on the 8th June – much of it was anecdotal or technical. All images are available at https://www.zimbushboy.org/lockdown-2020.

I tried to introduce my three pictures within the framework of why they were taken, what they are of and what they are about.  They have appeared previously as Covid 19 posts. 

Covid 19 Day 65 – Tree Spirit

Photo 1, Tree spirit, the Beechwoods  Why: The Beechwoods is one of my favourite places around Cambridge and I enjoy photographing the changing atmosphere across the seasons.  Of: It’s one of several faces chalked onto trees using knots and blemishes to create features.  About: The faces are on trees around an unexplained crater in the middle of the woods, a spot with a strange presence that radiates out between the surrounding trees.  The faces represent watchful attendant spirits of trees and place.  The photograph is about a hidden world and the wisdom of the beech.

Covid 19 Day 72 – Tomatoes

Photo 2, Tomatoes  Why: I saw the work of Charles Jones in the Royal Academy magazine (see post 2nd June) and thought I’d like to try a vegetable still life in black and white.  Of: A vine of Tesco finest (heritage?) tomatoes.  About:  At one level it’s about paying tribute to Jones’s work, to how those pioneers of photography showed us the world in new ways.  At another level it’s about the essence of things, how when we remove the most obvious characteristic, red in tomatoes, we see them differently as we are drawn to their shapes and textures – the essence becomes that of a sculpture not a fruit. See Weston’s peppers.

Covid 19 Day 70 – Tithe Barn, Landbeach

Photo 3, Tithe Barn, Landbeach  Why: The Barn has been restored by the Tithe Barn Trust recently .  I wanted to see it and include a photograph on my blog as a Covid 19 picture.  Of: The edge of the thatched flattened arch that spans the central double doors.  About: I’ve reduced it to a semi-abstract to bring out the feature as an example of the simple, formal elements that often make up traditional, vernacular buildings.  It represents a bridge between the romance of tradition and the austerity of modernism.  Alexandra Harris explores ideas around this in Romantic Moderns.

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