Thursday, August 20, 2009

Collector's Print #21 ~ Cherry Tree at Dusk - France

This summer I was driving down a lovely, winding road in the western district of Vendée, France. My long day of shooting in a new and visually stimulating area was over. I was in a relaxed but semi-exhausted mood on my way back home when I first saw the cherry tree with a ladder leaning on it in the middle of a wheat field. With the sun now just below the horizon, it was nearly too late to photograph; I just smiled and kept driving. But the magical lingering light made me reconsider the scene, so I quickly made a u-turn and went back.

The ladder that was left behind was poignant...a prop...a clue to stimulate the mind - a dangerous proposition that very rarely is worth the effort photographically. Countless times I've attempted and then failed to translate that "feeling" onto a final photographic image. But I could deeply "see" the image this time, or was it just my naïve American eyes imagining a romantic afternoon of picking cherries, some bread and wine, and relaxing on a blanket on a quiet, French hillside.

My experience told me there wasn't enough time to gather cameras and tripod, make the long walk through the field, and compose the image. But the scene was too compelling - I needed to try.

When I finished shooting and walked back to the car, the moon lit the path. I felt partly relieved, partly disappointed, but just a little hopeful that the elusive "feeling" from that first glance was waiting to be brought back to life once I returned to my studio in the distant American northwoods.

~Jim Brandenburg

The Jim Brandenburg Collectors Series features four seasonal prints a year. Each season, we will feature a new image that has never been printed, and will be available only at the Brandenburg Gallery. The featured image will be a signed and titled, 12"x8" Giclee Fine Art Print on 100% cotton paper at a special price of $75 or framed for $230. Previous seasonal images can be purchased at anytime for $125 or framed for $280. To purchase, contact the Brandenburg Gallery at 877-493-8017 or visit our website at


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