Monday, July 1, 2013

Lone Cypress

Lone Cypress, Pebble Beach

The Cypress stands alone, nobody around him, beauty and grace far away, in front of him only the Ocean, that is wider than he first guessed.
He's immersed in his thoughts up there, while the Ocean is silent, not listening to his words, ignoring his cries.

He wants to break away. But he's forbidden.
He wants to reach the Ocean. But he's forbidden.
He wants to touch the Ocean. But the Ocean is cold and distant.
And never never again - he cries - will get closer.

He still stands tall and honest on that rock, he has nothing to be ashamed of, his feelings are real and pure. He cares. From there he can see farther than the clouds above the horizon, but he is not allowed to tell what he can see, his heart crushed by the principles he must follow, written on the walls around him, imposed by the cold and heartless Ocean he is staring at. There is no future here.

There is a present. We can create the future.

The Lone Cypress on the 17 mile Drive in California is the most photographed tree in the world, the canonical composition has been explored to death. So for this image I gave up the rule of thirds and placed the tree on the top left corner, as close as possible to the top of the frame, to emphasize the idea that it's overlooking the ocean. The rock at the bottom right of the frame is the visual counterweight to balance the composition and give visual tension. Given the extreme dynamic range of the scene, I used a graduated neutral density filter to keep the sky exposure in check. In post, I slightly darkened the image to better convey what I felt in front of the tree: loneliness.

Click on the image for a wider view.

Sony A99, 35mm, f/11, 1.0s, ISO 50