Inside this issue
End-frame “Forrest Bench” by Lyle Gomes
Eelco Scheer chooses one of his favourite images
A wannabe outdoorsman passionate about photography based in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, I do not have enough time to pursue those passions full-time. Mountains, forests, and horses are my main photography topics but now-and-again I might look at something else. My main goal in photography is to share with others the beauty of what I see (or my perception thereof).
Photographer, Jonathan Chritchley, put me on the track of Lyle Gomes. This picture is on the cover photograph of the book “Imagining Eden: Connecting Landscapes”1. The book contains photographs made over a sixteen-year period from locations in America and Europe. These imaginative places were created as an attempt at recovering a connection with nature lost (Eden).
The special aspect ratio (~2¾ :1) of this picture might be the property of the picture that first catches the eye. After enquiring with Mr. Gomes, he told me this aspect ratio is the way he saw things. I changed the sentence to past tense as his latest work has different aspect ratios. Another portfolio, “Living with the Horizon” displayed the same characteristic. The influence of different aspect ratios on the message a picture gives only became fully clear to me after noting the uncommon aspect ratio of this picture. “Forrest Bench” radiates calmness, a certain serenity if you like. A quality that appeals to me, as getting away from day-to-day hectic and reaching a state of tranquillity is one of the reasons, I take pictures.
As I had seen a comparable theme before, I wondered why this theme is so important in arts. Does it have a particular message it is supposed to convey? If so, what is that message and why does it appeal to me? It triggered my curiosity towards themes in visual language. To find answers to those questions, I looked for examples in photography, painting and film and found out the bench appears in many artists’ works as a theme. Thinking about, it, not immediately having an answer, I remembered it to be present in literary arts as well. The above, the triggering of questions, also gives a partial answer to the question of why this picture is important to me.