MEADOWS ARE PLACES I IMAGINE I WOULD LIKE TO WALK, although few of those here would be suitable.
However, they suggest places I would like to be so I have decided to call them meadows and to devote a gallery to them.
Also, milkweeds are definitely found in meadows and they are beautiful so I have included them also. However, the first (JW 0001) was photographed in my studio. When I found it in a field not far from my home I soon discovered it was adjacent to a rifle range which I could not see but could surely hear and the sound was not conducive to photographing, so I plucked it and took it home.
A subject like the milkweed presents several problems. The lighting must be perfect in color and direction and the composition must be done such that the important parts are all in one plane so they can all be in focus. And the wind must not be blowing.
So it slowly dawned on me that a studio with strobe lights might work nice, not to mention making Polaroid proof exposures first. And the double pod surely seemed like it would be worth the effort.
I set the milkweed on a small table and borrowed a strobe to augment one I already had and then spent at least 3 months shooting Polaroids as I moved the strobe lights around. I finally ended up with one placed in back of the milkweed and tightly against it to provide some light through the white parts. A second strobe was in front.
I exposed over 100 Polaroids before I was ready for my final shoot of 3 brackets. On the second exposure the heat from the strobe in back ignited the dry delicate fuzz and within less than one second all that was left were the shells from which the seeds had come. However, the transparencies from the next to final shoot were essentially perfect and that is what you see here. It is catalog number 0001.
TWENTY YEARS LATER I passed a meadow in Connecticut while on the way to visit my mother. This meadow was perfect for walking, had many milkweeds and the afternoon sun was a warm light low in the sky. And there was no wind whatever.
I choose one stalk that held particular promise and worked to find good compositions where all the important parts would be in focus. Among the results are cat. nos. 4585 and 4586.