I have to wonder at the symbolism presented by the tree and apple scene in the Wizard of Oz. Perhaps it is a suggestion that as strange as things in the land of Oz might seem, they can always get weirder. Personally, I’ve always been attracted to the apple, I appreciate its tactile qualities as well as its deeply rooted symbolism in our subconscious. Universally, It is strongly tied to beginnings, and to change. In this event, I like to believe that it is also connected to the folly of youth. The apple, as tasted by Eve, bears the wisdom of age, but conversely the loss of innocence. Our childlike Dorothy clumsily reaches out for the apples; struggling to satiate that youthful curiosity.
Chasing Rainbows: I’ve been wanting to explore the OZ theme for sometime, so it was to my great fortune that my new friend Ashley showed up with a Dorothy costume in hand! The Oz series is, to me, the quintessential American Fairy tale. Oz represents escapism, while Kansas is the epitome of mundane, and the very tumultuous experience, represented by the twister, is the necessary catalyst for change in order to escape the cycle of habit and familiarity. In this image, I wanted the colors and light to feel like that eerie light before a tornado: an uncomfortable and even sickening yellowish-green. At the same time, we have our heroine frantically running across the claustrophobic, grassy landscape, which is speckled by solid objects of civilization (the power lines). However, in this scene, she is not running from the twister, but rather towards the rainbow which seems to almost disappear very faintly in the distance. Perhaps it is like chasing dreams that seem to fade, and the urgency we feel to run towards that adventure, hoping to leave all that we know behind.
I suppose I never get bored of editing photos. But I do get bored of doing things the same way. The paraphrased quote, “If you do what you’ve always done, then you’ll get what you’ve always gotten” stands out to me. I don’t want to become complacent in my work. I realized as I was editing this series how I’ve become technically quite sound, and I know I can produce a stunning image without much thought. But is it art? If I am to be an artist then I must challenge myself to not only be diligent, but also to challenge myself to take risks. I don’t know how well these will be received, or even my own thoughts on them at the moment. Its still settling in. But, I think I like the attempt.
I love the atmosphere of the Smokies: Dense, foggy mornings make for great photos. We shot this up at Clingman’s Dome, just after sunrise (and also, just after a bear and her baby appeared in the fog just beyond!)