Camera Position 174 : The Lone Tree & The Logo

A listener asked where the logo for Camera Position came from, which gave me an impetus to talk about that photograph and the concept of the Lone Tree image – a compulsory photograph for nearly every photographer.

Play Podcast:

Links for this Episode:

Lone Tree, Pienza, Toscana, 2004 - photograph by Jeff Curto
Lone Tree, Pienza, Toscana, 2004 – photograph by Jeff Curto
Oak Tree in a Snowstorm - Photograph by Ansel Adams
Oak Tree in a Snowstorm – Photograph by Ansel Adams
Twisted Tree, Point Lobos, by Minor White
Twisted Tree, Point Lobos, by Minor White
Yucca Draconis Mojave Desert by Carleton Watkins
Yucca Draconis Mojave Desert by Carleton Watkins
Palm Tree, California - by Richard Misrach
Palm Tree, California – by Richard Misrach

And I could keep going and going…

8 thoughts on “Camera Position 174 : The Lone Tree & The Logo”

  1. Dear Jeff,
    First of all thanks for taking up the idea and talking about the podcast background image/logo it is always interesting to know where a photograph one looks at so much comes from.

    Meanwhile I have finished viewing all the Camera Position podcast episodes. I started last year in October and by now I’ve been done with them for over a month actually. Now I have to wait for the next as everyone else. :-/ Not nice, but such is life… 🙂

    I have also followed all the History of Photography class session recordings and also the more recent History of Photography Podcast series. I’m only missing the Photo History Sumer School series – getting to them right now. And I must say that I have found most of what you have shared and have to say most compelling. Thank you for this great effort, it is very appreciated.

    I would also like to share what I have taken out of all this wealth of free albeit high quality information. As you may remember from a couple of emails we exchanged a couple of months ago I have been a street photographer for most of my photographic life ( but recently my viewfinder has been focusing on different things and ways of looking and by mid-January 2016 I started a two persons project with a friend of mine which we have called Dialogue In Photography ( The idea is that one makes a photograph and the other interprets it his own way and then creates a new one as a response and that second image is used by the first photographer in the same way and so forth and so on. As you will be able to see if you visit the project’s website, the type of photography in this Dialogue is much more contemplative that Street Photography is and, so far, it has been, at least from my side, highly influenced by many of the things I have learned with all your podcasts. So, thank you for that. 🙂 I may also bring this project up in the Camera Position Flickr group.

    So, thank you again and I’ll keep tuning to your stuff.

  2. Fabricio! Thanks so much for the great comment and for the cool web links. I just subscribed to the site… a super-cool idea!

    AND, of course… thank you for the topic suggestion – it was a good one!

    Marty! We’re gonna find you the perfect tree!

  3. Hi Jeff, I’m really glad you liked the idea.
    BTW, the last image is just out one houre ago… And knowing you are now following the project I must say I was walking on my tip toes to make sure it came out good… 😀

    BTW, forgot to mention two things in my previous comment. Regarding the project, It is not just a visual dialogue but also a verbal one and sometimes it is important to read the comments to understand the flow. We comment on the images to give our interpretation of the other photographer’s image and also to explain our own image. I’m sure my last image’s comment will make you laugh. 🙂

    The second thing I missed was that in this project I have photographed my lonely tree: (believe it or not all these branches are just from one single tree).

    Thanks for also sharing it on Twitter. 🙂 Suddenly the blog got quite some traffic.

  4. I love your version of the Lone Tree… lonesome, but full of life at the same time! I hope to spend more time on the dialoguein site soon… the comments you’re getting are great!

  5. I’m so happy you articulated the notion of the “essential” or “compulsory” photograph that every photographer needs to make. I have long been conflicted between the recognition that such shots lack originality and the urge, deeply rooted in my subconscious, to take the picture. Needles to say this has been a most frustrating unarticulated itch. But now it is exposed, named and justified so it can be embraced and explored without apprehension. No longer will I dread the labels cliché, banal, trite. Rather I will see the completion of such photographs as a measure of progress in my photographic maturity: one less unoriginal image to take. Hmm, I wonder how many there are?

  6. Bill!

    I think we could start a list…

      Sunset reflected in water
      Closeup of a lover’s face
      Light through slatted blinds (see Stiegliz’ Sun’s Rays, Paula)
      Lone figure in a vast landscape

    I think it’s true what you say… once we know that it’s “OK” to have that response, that we’re not just being boring, but being true to our own psychological reaction to subject… it frees us up to make those photographs and move on to the other things that interest us, too.

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