The Four Seasons
The concept for The Four Seasons began with with the leaf mask, an icon of The Green Man which appears throughout human history. I combined this icon with that of the wood nymph from Greek and Latin mythology which tickles our imagination. Visualize the beauty of nature, the beauty of woman, mythical creatures and magical places - the woods and wild beasts, something beyond our technical world, medieval times - a simpler and happier time, a magical time of fairies and fantasies.
But, where do we go from here?
To provide dimension and expand on a theme, I revisited the forest later the same year. Outdoor photography is challenging, the quest for a sunny day, doing battle with the insects and indigenous wildlife, long walks carrying heavy camera equipment, and hiding from other nature lovers.
The addition of a beautiful, talented, and experienced model brought the added depth which I was seeking. She captured the abandon, boldness, and free spirt necessary for the composition.
We were fortunate to find a wonderful day in Autumn when the leaves were starting to change color. The ground was carpeted with soft pine needles and colorful foliage. The fiery red colors reflected against the model who became a part of the forest.
I kept the mask theme, choosing the fire elemental to reflect the colors of the forest. Once again we found it challenging to stay hidden from our fellow nature lovers all enjoying the change of seasons.
Is there anything nice to say about the season of Winter? 2014 was especially harsh, not just in New York but throughout the entire Northern continent. A deep cold set in. Snow and ice persisted for months.
As for model photography, nearly impossible to accomplish. With average temperatures well below freezing, photographing a nude against the snowy background proved difficult for us and our equipment.
The day needed to be cold enough to preserve the snow on the ground, needed to be a weekend, needed to be sunny, little wind, preferably above freezing. The model’s feet needed to remain dry and warm. Emergency shelter and fuel powered body warmer were standing by. A method was devised for quick changing in and out of clothes.
The snowflake mask was the obvious choice, which brought the theme of the masks together throughout the seasons.
The toughest season of them all. How do we describe Spring? The days and nights are 12 hours long, just as Autumn, but the leaves are green rather than red. The days are not as hot as Summer but not as cold as Winter. You cannot define Spring unless you know the season which came before it.
Spring is unique, yet an enigma among the seasons. It shares attributes of the time which lies ahead for us, but we are not permitted to look into the future.
We need to look deeper into nature to define the meaning of Spring.
I found the reindeer. The females have not yet shed their antlers. It is a time for rebirth of the forest. It is a time for the young.
I selected the pose of the young reindeer sitting complacent on the bridge as the icon of Spring. The rebellion and impetuousness of youth.
How we define the seasons is how we look at life. The dark and cold seasons where life does not exist give us contrast to enjoy what is to follow. Summer brings the forest to life and vitalizes the plants which nourish our lives. Autumn brings the harvest, signals the change of seasons while its fiery colors warn of the Winter which lies ahead.
Spring will always be for the young.