After contemplating awhile, taking the first photograph of the tree is the first step towards a start of making a meaningful print.
How long did Ansel contemplate "Hernandez Moonrise" ?
Wherever you go, there you are.
I contemplate a subject only from the standpoint of my visualization of the print with respect to the final distribution of tones in my minds eye------I firmly believe in trying to produce, visually, the "equivalent" of what was seen and felt about the subject when I found it.......yes, the old "equivalency" concept by Stieglitz. If I can do that, it is a success IMO. And yes, it points to the fundamental ideal behind the concept of the ZS which is visualization. I'm simply not cabable of contemplating a subject for the attachment of any kind of "meaning", nor do I want to be, I believe I would find that quite a stumbling block. There's a feeling I may have about a subject, I just strive to transfer that to the print.
The contemplation stage may in fact be sort of an amateur or learning process in the art of seeing, where a master may see it at a glance.
Moonrise over Hernandez was mentioned here and it is a great example of a master taking a photograph by seeing potential. The basic print is pretty mundane, but Adams saw the potential and the elements that he could enhance and turned into a work of art.
I like trees, but I may go a bit light on contemplation. What usually happens is I catch a view of a tree of some perhaps unusual shape or structure, under some particular lighting that draws my attention -- sometimes I may just be taking a walk without any photographic goal. When actually making a photo, I may spend some time adjusting the composition as it will appear in the frame, but generally that's a pretty quick process; I've "seen" the picture already.
I honestly don't see the big deal about Hernandez. I assume that when I see the print in person I'll be more impressed. Many other Ansels that I prefer.
Anyway, now that I have created a thousand enemies for not towing the party line on Hernandez :whistling: ....back to trees: I am very fond of them and have become friendly with quite a few. We spend quite a lot of time together and discuss reasons for being and so forth. One tree with which I have a special relationship is a very wise old ginkgo with a horse hitch in its base. This tree has seen many things. Here it is in full autumn glory:
As you can see, this ginkgo is so grand, other trees bow to it and clouds position themselves favourably above ;)