Willow Tree, Winter

During the summer, this is the place to get out of the sun.  There are boats on the lake, and nearby Bethesda Plaza is filled with people, some of them even from New York.

With the entrance of winter, the willow trees go bare, and on a cold afternoon, just before the sun departs for the evening, it is a little bit spooky.    Even the San Remo towers, which are normally  friendly-looking, seem more ethereal than real.  I guess it’s just what happens when nature gets desaturated by a blizzard.

The best spot in the park during the winter is where lots of people gather.  Maybe the skating rink.  But if you go to the park during a winter twilight, and visit the bare willows by the lake see if you get that feeling of alienation; or a sense that the tableau before you isn’t entirely happy to have been shorn, frozen and left to make it through the night alone.

Of course that connection between trees and winter does go back a ways.  Now we call it Christmas.  Once it was a druid prayer.  And before that – wherever there are four seasons, there’s some ritual to acknowledge the arrival of winter – and the loneliness of a twilight by a frozen lake.


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

3 thoughts on “Willow Tree, Winter”

  1. We planted a willow and a flowering pear tree in our NJ backyard last spring and the way they look now, in the midst of winter, I fear for their future. But your picture gives me hope.

    Imagine the terror and desperation of ancient peoples, who knew they had to appease the gods to ensure return of spring and renewed life.

    After seeing your photo, I feel I should go out in the backyard and say something consoling to my suffering trees.

  2. This has a nice tone that is not all b&w is it? also brings to mind, holga , have you done any with a holga? Really enjoy your photos and writing Dave . All the best in 2009 .

  3. This is just an quasi-infrared-toned setting that I must’ve tweaked at some point in Lightroom. I think I threw some sort of palladium toning and blur into the mix. Haven’t tried holgas… I sort of feel that if I want that look I can do it with filters… maybe not… Thanks for the good wishes and now I’m going to start working on my resolutions for the New Year: number one is to travel.

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