Saturday, May 03, 2008

Gnarly Sycamores

Gnarly Sycamores, originally uploaded by Tom Arbour.

Sometimes, you just have to break out of the box. Here I've used my Pentax Spotmatic SP500 film camera to capture the gnarled, water worn knobs on a base of an American sycamore. I have my film processed and scanned, with no prints made. I imported this shot into, converted to black and white, adjusted the levels, contrast, and sharpness, and there you go. To me, these shapes remind me of a pair of twisted ears. Perhaps Vincent Van Gogh left these here?



  1. Very interesting! You lost me in all that technique, but the results are neat. To me, if you tilt your head to the left, they look like 2 wearing a ballcap and a huge grin and the other has a very prominent chin and large nose :-)

  2. Tom, it's well worth pulling the old film cam out but seems like a great deal of work!

  3. I agree withMary- they look like faces possibly arguing with each other.

  4. They do look like ears. I never even think of film anymore. I guess it was over when digital arrived. For me at least.

  5. Very interesting interpretations everyone. I do see the faces as well, and I certainly could present this image that way as well and I think it would be just as powerful.

    One of the reasons I used the film camera for this shot was that it was raining, and I didn't want to take out my Rebel XTI in the rain. The old Pentax really is cool though- I love the viewfinder, the image that I see through the viewfinder is just so much bigger and more vibrant the my XTI.