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I Can See The Trees


From The Breakdown Lane


Interstate 90, The Massachusetts Turnpike

The Mass. Pike is the local name for Interstate-90 between Boston and where it crosses into New York State. During spring shooting season, roughly April 20 to May 20, I would wake (without an alarm), usuaally before sunrise and head for the entrance at Exit 13 in Framingham. Then I would choose east or west. East would take me to the Weston overlook and west would take me to Exit 11 in Millbury.

I had photographed a few spots in between but Weston and Millbury were the most likely to give me something new. In Weston it was always the same group of trees with a group of ten or so in the mniddle, a good horizon and no buildings.

As the season progressed, different trees would begin to open their buds and different colors would appear. Then I would hike a short distance east or west and get a little different view. Number 0032 is interesting because all the buds were a brilliant red from rain but illuminated by the rising sun.

I remember that morning lying in bed and hearing the rain and hoping it was pouring and windy so I could go back to sleep. But no, the rain was light and I never knew what might happen. So the sun came out just after the rain stopped. You have to go and keep going. Below “Peak Color” shows how the different species of tree would flower, each with a different color so it looked like a fall morning.

Most of the misty pictures were from Exit 11 where there was a vernal pool below the entrance ramp.

I would usually park in the exit parking lot, for it was a commuter stop, and hike across the highway to see what was happening. What was happening was the mist from the pool and the sun back-lighting the mist.

Early Buds on Maple Trees I

One morning for some reason the morning sun turned the mist orange. I had parked below the Pike crossing (a shorter hike) and could see the orange mist and I knew it was special and as I climbed towards the road I just thought “don’t screw it up.” I shot continuously for about 45 minutes until the sun had burned off the mist. In two of the exposures the mist was just right. It was a difficult transparency to print because I had to underexpose about two stops so as not to burn out the highlights. This left the bottom of the image almost black. After we went digital, it became far easier and more beautiful, but it took about 10 years before I thought it was just right. Nevertheless, the edition sold out.

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