’Round Town

Winter Orchard

Wed, 01/20/2021 - 7:45am

    The negative from which this image was made has not seen the light of day in over 30 years. That would make it one of my younger offspring in my collection of processed films of over 50 years. Where does the time go? Perhaps one day I will get around to organizing all my files. Perhaps not.

    The film used for this photograph is no longer produced, and that's a shame. It, like many films, has gone away as technology advances and cameras (and phones) don't require such old-fashioned stuff. But, I love film, always have and always will. It is different from images made with pixels and automation. Some would argue technology is better. Perhaps. But film produces an image through a different process which gives it a unique quality, albeit, perhaps, a less versatile feel. As someone who has used both for many years now, I prefer the limitations of film and its quality, even if it requires more work and more expense. I'm just a retro sort of person I guess. I drive old vehicles, too. Eventually I will get where I need to go. In these times, long speedy trips are far less frequent. We adjust.

    For me, the trees in today's photograph remind me of what film has meant to me over the years. They have aged. They have held their ground. But they remain a reminder of a different time. These trees have seen a lot. Just imagine the traffic up and down Route 27 over the years in their time. It’s difficult to ignore the stately stand clustered up in that pristine, manicured field. I always feel closer to home when they appear off to the right near where the old Ponderosa Campground used to live. I recall returning home after long drives back from jobs or visits with family in Pennsylvania. They were a welcoming sight. Still are.

    Wintertime really makes the orchard stand out. This image was made, as I have mentioned, a long time ago, with proper permission from the landowner. I remember shuffling in from the road hoping to catch a view that would honor their spirits. Charles Kuralt, with whom I became friends, was very taken with this image and asked for a print. A few others have as well, pleasing me to learn what it meant and what they saw.

    The old film will go back into its folder until the next time, if there will be a next time. It’s no matter. To me, once was quite enough.