Perspective

Perspective

This photograph was taken in Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.  Of all the waterfalls we saw, this was perhaps the most impressive.  Without the two people standing at its base, this would have been a great picture – a study in contrasts; but the two individuals lend such perspective to the grand scale of the waterfall that I could not, in good conscience, leave them out.  Perspective is a term that covers all manner of sins, from the linear perspective of Da Vinci, to the perspective one gains from a tragedy, to even the perspective that you grasp from the sheer insignificance of two humans set against the backdrop of indefatigable nature.

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Cypress Bluff

SSA Photography (204 of 400)

This photograph of a solitary Monterey Cypress (Hesperocyparis Macrocarpa) was taken at Point Lobos in Carmel, California. The species is native to the central coast of California, but now is confined to two small relict populations – Cypress Point in Pebble Beach and Point Lobos.  The most famous of the trees is the Lone Cypress, which is found along Seventeen Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.  Though the trees can grow to over forty feet, they are generally stunted by the strong winds that blow from the Pacific, which gives them their iconic flat-topped appearance.  Although it has long been held that some of the cypresses are two millennia old, this is a romantic conception of seaside literature, and the oldest of the cypresses are likely closer to 300 years old than 2,000.  Although only two native groves remain, the trees have been widely planted outside its native range, particularly along the coasts of California and Oregon.  Indeed, some intrepid seeds have even made it to Great Britain (including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands), France, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Sicily.

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Etched

SSA Photography (392 of 400)

“Etch” comes to us from the German ätzen meaning “to eat” via the Dutch etsen.  Etching is the traditional process of using an acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a surface to create an intaglio (incised) design on the surface.  The word has been borrowed for human application, with it meaning something that is affixed permanently in one’s memory.  This photograph has elements of both meanings.  The breaks in the heather and scrub are beautiful, lasting reminders of what has come before.  The paths on the moors have been etched by the footfalls of generations of Yorkshiremen and, indeed, even us outsiders.  Likewise, the scenes captured along such paths, as if created by old masters, have been indelibly etched into my mind.

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