This is an homage to a copse of oak trees near my house, made over a three-month period early in 2015. I used a handheld infrared camera, and stitched the images you see here from between thirty and a hundred exposures. In that respect, the series is pretty straightforward. But what’s with the borders? That’s the question that I get the most, so I’ll deal with it here.
Many watercolorists leave the edges of their paintings ragged, putting down color where the scene demands it, but feeling no compunction to fill the entire rectangle with paint. I’ve borrowed that freedom from the conventional photographic rectangular Procrustean bed for this stitched series. It also allows me to celebrate the process by which the images were constructed and incorporate that celebration into the art.
I didn’t always show the image edges of stitched images. I still don’t do it with tripod-exposed ones — the borders aren’t interesting. But I started doing it with handheld stitchery a few years back. For these photographs I thought about the final borders as I made the component exposures. I’ll never be able to perfectly predict how it will turn out, and I would be disappointed if I could, but, as the saying goes, the more I practiced the luckier I got.