An oppressive peak seen in a monochrome, fungus-covered tree

A fungus-covered tree found at the splendid Owens Conservation Park in Madison, WI. I was intrigued by the ailing tree and dazzled by the vibrant, sunlit orange of the fungus that had overtaken it. Monochrome film wasn’t an ideal choice for capturing that splendor, but I knew the fungal array welcomed interpretation. Whatever creative ideas I entertained at the time quickly vanished in the dreary cold of that late-winter hike.

When I developed the roll months later, I saw this frame and had no idea what was before me. Reviewing my work often evokes powerful reminiscence of the outing, but it was like someone else had taken this. I only saw a scarred mountain range filled with craters and fissures that glowed from lightning’s endless scourge. I didn’t have to imagine pitch-black heights outlined by that same, perpetual storm.

Realization dawned after a while, but I still find myself viewing this as a perilous mountain first and a zoomed-in tree second. Years after the fact, the imagined scene is still more real to me.

Minolta XD 11
Minolta MD 75-200mm f/4.5
Kodak TMAX – ISO 100