Planting Fields Arboretum

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Well, this certainly does not look like a street though I suppose the shadows do suggest the paths of several intersecting roads. But I am using “street photography” broadly here.

Much of my work is created for commissions by the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). That work is methodically planned out and involves an assortment of equipment as well as historical research. During the course of many months, the resulting images are pored over, selections are made, post-processing is applied, and a sequencing of the images is determined. A formal collection is, thus, presented to the NPS with an overarching visual and intellectual theme.

It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. Sometimes, I just want to have fun without having to think too much. And for me, the art of street photography affords that liberty. It’s about limiting my equipment to just one small camera and photographing spontaneously on the streets of New York City. No thinking. Just instinctively responding during a fleeting moment of time to whatever is happening around me.

That approach, however, is not limited to the streets. It can be transferred to other environments like Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, Long Island. I was there in April 2019 just wandering around. Suddenly, I noticed the long shadow of the tree behind me reaching out menacingly across the lawn as if trying to seize his or her fellow trees on the other side.

Perhaps that’s what Arbor Day on April 24 is all about – a reminder to be kind to our trees and nature in general lest we risk the environment meting out its revenge on us.

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Published by Xiomáro

Nationally exhibited artist, photographer, speaker, teacher, and curator. Author of "Weir Farm National Historic Site" (Arcadia Publishing). www.xiomaro.com.

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