The Mu­sic of Trees

Ryan J. Bush, Kate Ware (Con­trib­u­tor) Be­yond Edi­tions (DE­CEM­BER) Hard­cover $65 (108pp), 978-0-9993930-0-0

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews | Adult Nonfiction - LETI­TIA MONT­GOMERY-RODGERS

“When we look through the eye of the cam­era, hid­den things some­times ap­pear that we might not oth­er­wise no­tice,” writes pho­tog­ra­pher Ryan J. Bush. Af­ter twenty-one years as a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher, he po­si­tions the nat­u­ral world as a valance point, its phys­i­cal­ity a por­tal that leads be­yond what is fixed.

The Mu­sic of Trees elab­o­rates on this con­cept across three se­ries of tree pho­to­graphs: Tree Por­traits, Me­mo­ria, and Mul­ti­ple Vi­sions. Each se­ries ex­plores a dif­fer­ent way of see­ing, pro­gress­ing from rep­re­sen­ta­tional im­ages to mul­ti­ple ex­po­sures to a fi­nal se­ries of great ab­strac­tion with grace­ful per­spi­cac­ity.

Pre­sented as gen­er­ous eight-by-eight-inch squares, the pho­to­graphs rest in the pages’ frame, with wide mar­gins and a fac­ing blank page invit­ing un­in­ter­rupted con­tem­pla­tion. Tree Por­traits con­tains strik­ing black-and-white trees uniquely sil­hou­et­ted, in whole or in part, from a scenic or un­ex­pected van­tage point. Me­mo­ria con­tin­ues with black-and-white im­ages fea­tur­ing a ghostly ac­crual of trunks and limbs stretch­ing and in­ter­sect­ing, their mélange an ir­reg­u­lar dark­ness against stark white space. Mul­ti­ple Vi­sions tran­si­tions to color pho­tog­ra­phy, where mul­ti­ple ex­po­sures cre­ate graphic, kalei­do­scopic pat­terns that sug­gest rustling leaves, wink­ing light, a shift­ing breeze.

“Ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to have their own ex­pe­ri­ence of the pho­to­graphs,” but Bush also clearly presents his own in­ten­tions in cre­at­ing each se­ries. The in­flu­ence of mu­sic on the work is strong. This in­ten­tion is ev­i­dent in the im­ages’ pal­pa­ble in­ter­nal tempo. These pho­to­graphs re­sound with beats of move­ment and still­ness, al­ways con­vey­ing the sense of some­thing cap­tured but not ar­rested.

A book of great vi­sion and con­ti­nu­ity, The Mu­sic of Trees or­ches­trates a jour­ney from the ad­mi­ra­tion of beauty to a place that vi­brates with its own in­ter­nal frequency.

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