on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End frame: Twin Oaks 1956, Wynn Bullock

Alexandra Wesche chooses one of her favourite images

Alexandra Wesche

I am an amateur photographer from Germany who is into landscapes and stories. I like to discover both on my daily walks through the woods with my sighthounds and on occasional vacations.


Each time I read one of the many wonderful End Frame articles I ask myself which image I would choose for this. I don't really have any absolute favourite photographs. I like many different photographers and styles for different reasons. Yet there are some single images that stick with me for a longer time, that I think of again and again, and sometimes I'm not quite certain why that is. Thus, I decided to pick one of these images and try to analyse the attraction and put it down in words.

The title of the photograph is Twin Oaks and the photographer is Wynn Bullock. More about him can also be found in Tim Parkin's article about the book 'The Enchanted Landscape' in edition 20. The image was made in 1956 in Jolon Valley, California, although this is one of those pictures where the time and place are entirely irrelevant. The photograph is framed by two very old oak trees, as the title suggests. However, these two trees do not seem to be the immediate subject to me. They are only partly visible and mostly kept in shadow. Not much detail of their bark and leaves is visible, but I have to admit this may be different from the original print. Between them in the background is a light area that draws the attention of the eye first. There is some shimmering texture, but nothing recognisable. Next, the dome like form of the top of another tree or bush meets the eye. It's the first surprise of the image because that incomplete shape is unexpected in that place. It suggests a drop in height behind the oaks, something unknown that might be discovered later. But its main function is to propel the gaze back to the foreground for now.

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