Varying Distances

After the presentations during the Open Studios event on Monday at Nida art colony, we discussed each others works informally with smoked fish and beer or wine. Prompted by the comments I received I realised that I very easily succumb to a form of vanity, creating romantic imagery where the human figure looks good and the atmosphere is somehow semi-sublime. This was particularly true for the work I showed, Sunday with a Pine, which is recorded from a middle distance. My previous attempts, especially Resting with a Pine 4, 5 and 6 are much less flattering for the performer, but also less pleasing as views, and perhaps less interesting, too, because they do not “flirt” with the problematic tradition of the “sublime” landscape. I was nevertheless irritated by the idea of letting my vanity influence the images, and decided to make one more attempt.
On Tuesday afternoon I climbed up to the dunes and looked for a suitable pine that would stand relatively alone, so I could have an image of it from a distance without other branches hindering the view. And of course I wanted to find one I could easily climb on and not be completely covered by the needles. I chose one near the open dunes and tried to find the right angle for the camera with regard to the sun. I had also brought with me my go pro, and wanted to experiment with recording the view from where I sat in the tree with that camera while my main camera on the tripod would record the whole scene. I made four attempts with the tripod placed at various distances. The two first ones are in close up, resembling the work called Year of the Dog – Sitting in a Tree (2007), where I was sitting in a pine on Harakka Island once a week for a year (2006-2007) with only my shoulder visible in the image. The first one is actually too dark, almost in backlight, but there you can see something of the landscape below. The third one is about as far as I could get without bumping into another tree and shows the pine in full. The fourth image is something of a compromise, from a distance, but closer, so you can see the human figure more clearly. It is perhaps closer to a romantic version again. Resting with a Pine 9-12 are all online, too.




The go pro images from the four variations look almost the same: I had the camera in my hand while sitting in the pine, and although I tried to stay immobile there is small movement all the time. They are ok as still images, even though the horizon is leaning one way or the other and you cannot see so much of the view in them either.