The Trees of Birdsong

September 02, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Pentax K1000 35mm Film CameraPentax K1000 It's hard to believe the origins of this post go all the way back to June 2020. Back then, I was part of a community project called the Partnership of the Passing Pentax. A Pentax K1000 was being shipped around the country with different photographers using the same camera, the same lens, and the same film to photograph their area.

I wanted to make sure the camera would not get stuck with me for too long and only kept it for two days. Day 1 was a roll of Kodak Double-X in Birdsong Park, day 2 was another roll on the shore of Lake Erie (more on that in a future post, hopefully not in two more years). This project and my approach allowed me to see the park quite differently.

Twinkle in the Trees, Trees of Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New YorkTwinkle in the TreesTrees of Birdsong

Twinkle in the Trees
Birdsong on Pentax K1000 and Kodak Double-X

So what was different? Since I visit the park often I try to be very careful about what I photograph. Did I photograph it before? Is it any different? Should I press the shutter? I question every single photograph and try to talk myself out of it. This evening, I fully intended to go through a whole roll of 35mm film. I had just over an hour to get approximately 36 photographs. Even rounding things a bit for simplicity that is about a photo every two minutes. That was definitely something I had not done in this park in a long time, probably since my very first visit.

Creek Gate, Trees of Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New YorkCreek GateTrees of Birdsong

Creek Gate
Birdsong on Pentax K1000 and Kodak Double-X

There was another significant difference that evening. My cameras usually have a wide angle lens, like a 28mm, attached as the default. The Pentax K1000 used for this project came with a 50mm lens and that was quite a difference. It was a whole different world. Back in 2020, using a 50mm lens was a complete unknown to me. And looking at it now, I suspect it was this experience that opened up the world of normal lenses to me. I now go out with 50mm lenses much more often and even went on whole big trips with that focal length as my only lens!

Old Branches, Trees of Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New YorkOld BranchesTrees of Birdsong

Old Branches
Birdsong on Pentax K1000 and Kodak Double-X

There is a saying "can't see the forest for the trees" but I think my usual wide angle approach resulted in me not being able to see the trees for the forest. I'd always be framing for my foreground, middle ground, and background. With the 50mm lens, I could place more focus on details, on narrower areas, I could, or even had to flatten my plane of focus on a specific feature. The opening photo of this post is a scene one gets to see immediately after turning into the woods. It always makes an impression on me, yet, I had never been able to photograph it that way. This evening, I could. The same experience followed just a few steps further into the forest with the gorgeous branches of the old tree. I was able to raise my camera up and focus on just the scene that caught my eye, the branches.

Dead Tree Up Close, Trees of Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New YorkDead Tree Up CloseTrees of Birdsong

Blooming Bush
Birdsong on Double-X 5222 for the Partnership of the Passing Pentax

This old and very dead tree is the only photograph in today's post that is outside the woods. I love the tree and I always stop, admire it, and sometimes take a picture if I can convince myself that something about it looks different. And again, the normal lens facilitated a different perspective.

Forest, Trees of Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New YorkForestTrees of Birdsong

Blooming Bush
Birdsong on Double-X 5222 for the Partnership of the Passing Pentax

However, we are heading right back into the woods. There was something magical with the light that evening. Whether it was a figment of my imagination or reality I am not qualified to say due to my bias towards these photographs but even now more than two years later I still see that shimmering light. Maybe it was the lens, maybe it was the backlight painting the pictures on the Kodak motion picture film, maybe it was my imagination, or maybe it was a combination.

Creek in the Woods, Trees of Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New YorkCreek in the WoodsTrees of Birdsong

Creek in the Woods
Birdsong on Double-X 5222 for the Partnership of the Passing Pentax

To close out today's post we're stopping by the creek. This particular spot has captivated me for years but it has been only the last year or two that I've really come to appreciate and enjoy the full length of the creek as it passes through the park. The combo of the creek and the leaning trees along both banks creates some very charming scenes. In this specific location, the fallen tree crossing the creek and its reflection add a little extra to the whole scene.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

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