A little over a year ago I posted a series of six images: a small portfolio of prints I had given to family as gifts over the holidays. The images were of trees, and I shared also here the story I included with the images which attempted to convey the personal significance off the trees and the trail and of the mountain and of everything they are part of here in Montara, the small unincorporated town where I live.
The project wasn’t quite done then and, it seems, no project anymore really is. I’m shooting half a dozen book-length projects at once now, which is crazy, but the result is that I am awash in photos, with projects forever in a state of -near-completion. Part of the book-making process, at least for me, includes some of that culling a and making final selections and so you don’t want the edit too tight—if you are thinking a book will have maybe one hundred to a hundred and twenty images in the end it might be smart to have one one hundred and seventy or one hundred and eighty images in the final pool.
But I can’t have all of these project hanging in limbo, stuck in my head. The get in the way. They make it hard to sleep.
My solution is to “finish” a project by printing a small number of them, to get them on paper and into the world. When I printed the 2021 Christmas Portfolio the work was still was very much a work in progress. A few weeks ago I decided the project was complete, the culling and selections as far along as possible, and so I took another pass at printing the images, printing twelve of them, some the same was the Christmas images.
Several of these trees have been felled over the past year or so from the violent winds and ground-deep-soaking rain we’ve experienced here. I walk this same trail almost every day when I’m in town and I’m sad whenever I encounter one of my trees titled over or laying upon the ground. They leave some, other they chainsaw, and then they are gone, out of my head and out of the real world but, from the photograph, back into my head forever.