black-and-white photographs

black-and-white photographs

There are two black and white photographs that I treasure as shining souvenir ,taken by an American photographer, Ansel Adams. (1902~1984)

One of the two is taking two of dog wood trees in a forest.

from web site

In this photo the dog wood trees are giving a glimmer of light in a dark forest.

It is said that dog wood trees came to Japan in 1915 for exchanging with cherry trees that mayor of Tokyo sent to US in 1912.
In Japan they are generally planted along streets or in gardens, besides in US where the trees came from, many of them grow wild.

Several years ago I had a chance to visit Yosemite National Park in US, famous for rocky mountains represented by Half Dome that was shaped during Ice Age, and falls, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil fall and so on which have abundance of water especially in April, there I saw many wild dog wood trees were covered with boom. Many were much taller than those in Japan and they had their glorious flowers on the high branches.

Ansel Adams' museum is in the huge park that makes it look tiny.

Dog wood is called Hana-mizuki in Japan.

This is my favourite tanka poem by contemporary tanka poet.

青春は水木のしたをかよう風 あるいはとおき線路のかがやき
                                高野 公彦

( Adolescence, it is a breeze which comes and goes beneath a dog wood tree, or is a mail off shining of silver train tracks Kimihiko Takano 1941~)

In the tanka poem, Takano doesn't mention any substance of youth but floral-fresh breeze
and far-flung shining of rail road.
Thinking of it I remember the very short period time of staying at the magnificent park, Yosemite.
Definitely I was several years younger than I am.

The other one is this.
I've heard that Ansel Adams was influenced by the painters, impressionists, who brought their canvas into the sunshine from their darker ateliers, and depicted subtle change of sunlight on objects.

via here
The little prince in "Le Petit Prince " by Saint-Exupéy saw one day, the sunset forty-four times , rawing back his chair by inch on his small planet.
The sun in this photo might be going to set in, though I keep me it in suspence whether it is rising or setting in, because to see the sunset many times is too sad.

モノクロームの大樹の向こう のぼるとも沈むとも見え白き太陽

The sun shining whitely

over a large-boughed mighty tree

looks setting in

and also rising up

or going to do in parallel (haricot)

I see the photos again and I feel the fragrance of that April.

13 件のコメント:

cosmos さんのコメント...

B$W pictures turn me into inner self, leaving mysteriously quiet and deep feeling in my mind. And then seeing the warm colored picture makes me feel, in a way, relieved.

You've been to Yosemite. So have I. It was the second time my husband and I visited it in March several years ago, so I didn't notice any dogwood trees. We brought the trekking shoes with climbing irons from Japan and walked around the trails with snow still left. We stayed at the log house there for two nights. I still remember the crispy air in the morning and squirrels moving around the grove. Thank you for reminding me of good old memory.

stardust さんのコメント...

I don’t remember when color film arrived. Most of the photos of my childhood are black and white, which evoke more nostalgia. In B&W images, light and shadow look more clear. Personally I feel actresses looks more beautiful and classy in B&W films.

Recently , digital color photos can be converted into B&W by the camera or on the PC and you can choose how to represent to contain your thoughts or feelings in the photos, but personally I like natural photo without digital device.

I love the tanka by Kimihiko Takano you introduced. Thank you.

snowwhite さんのコメント...

For me B&W photos are always more expressive and eloquent as they stimulate my imagination. Sometimes they are vividly more colorful than colored photos. I love B&W photos but it is harder to take them than to take colored ones.

I think that the suspending sun in the photo is a setting sun. If you feel it fresh and hopeful when you see it, it is a rising sun.
when I saw the sun in the photo, I felt peace and contentment, I thought it was a setting sun. It is interesting whether setting or rising depends on how each person feels.

高野 公彦's Tanka dipicts the best time of his youth, and your youth, my youth.

Thank you a lot for posting very intersting blog and photos!!

redrose さんのコメント...

Hello, Haricot.
Thank you for your touching tanka as always.
You have posted lovely white and black photos. Looks the big tree in the photo tells people the gleaming sunset promise that a new light comes out next day after going through the darkness. The message in the white and black photo is something special. The beauty in the simplicity is much more precious than showy ones.

Dog wood trees always reminds me of one of my favorite old movies; Driving Miss Daisy.
Miss Daisy is my long life admirable senior lady. Many pink and white dog woods are in full bloom in her garden. The blooming flowers are perfectly agreeable her way of life.

haricot さんのコメント...


I imagined the crispy air which I also felt in the morning a little even in April.
As you are a good hiker, Yosekite must have been a great place to visit and walk around. I saw some squirrels, too. A visitor gently said to me, "Don't feed them".

haricot さんのコメント...

cosmos, thank you for your gentle comment as usual.


I'm glad to hear that you love Kimihiko's tanka.
Maybe he composed it looking back his adolescence. For the young people who are in the amidst of the days how this tanka sounds like, I wonder.
Thank you very much for your comment.

haricot さんのコメント...


Thank you for your interesting comment.
You are right.
If I saw brighter and growing light in the photo, I would not keep it in suspense.

The youth is brilliant and I'm longing for. In this tanka by Kimihiko the substance isn't shown but the breeze and shining which we can't touch nor grasp. It is his point I think.

haricot さんのコメント...


Thank you for your kind comment.
I'm also surprised at the simplicity of Adams' works despite he took every elements he needs.

I saw and was moved by" Driving Miss Daisy", but I missed the scene of dog wood flowers. I want to see the movie again.

redrose さんのコメント...

Your new photo has come out! So beautiful. Did you pick and put them in your cup?
The down are still perfect, not puffed out.

haricot さんのコメント...


Yes, I picked them and took a shot in the evening with a faint light.
I think I have not good camera eye, and always admire you and other bloggers' splendid shots with good skill.
Thank you very much.

Marc Sheffner さんのコメント...

Thank you for introducing Tanka. I am too lazy to discover Japanese poetry for myself! The Internet is very useful for lazy people like me.

I like Takano's poem. I like dogwood, which I discovered for the first time only after I came to Japan. The image of the railyway tracks reminded me of Dagney Taggart, looking down the tracks of her family's railway line when she was a little girl, and dreaming of her future. Although I don't agree with Ayn Rand's philosophy, I must admit she skillfully captured the sense of hope and excitement and optimism that is youth:
"Dagney Taggart was nine years old when she decided that she would run the Taggart Transcontinental Railroad some day. She stated it to herseelf when she stood alone between the rails, looking at the two straight lines of steel that went off into the distance and met in a single point.... The two steel lines were brilliant in the sun, and the black ties were like the rungs of a ladder which she had to climb." ("Atlas Shrugged", Part 1 Chapter 3).

haricot さんのコメント...

Thank you for your comment, Marc.

It is interesting that Takano's tanka reminds you of Dagny's point of view. Hope and decision for her future is stable and literally shining.
Personally I felt something pasted away from his tanka, not regrettable but somehow irrecoverable.
I learn a lot in Reading Class with the different interpretations due to different personalities.

haricot さんのコメント...

Dagny--> Dagney (sorry for my misspell)