Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees

Tim Parkin and Charlotte Britton took me to Scotland for a a night so that they could pick up the keys of thier new home, step inside after exchanging contracts and measure up for new carpets.  Basking in the glory of the purchase of your home is very magical.  So my second visit to Scotland was a whirlwind.  Of course it was on and off again rain, but mainly misty light rain.  

After the night in a local bar and hotel, that had crampons and ice axes on the wall and photographs of Chris Bodington on the walls I knew I was in a special place that would always be close to my heart. Glencoe. This would be quite a walk from the Murray Clan lands of my ancestors down nearer to Glasgow at Bothwell Castle.

That morning after a wonderful tour of the property, meeting the previous owner and the neighbor, I was able to photograph their garden and the forest at thier back door. 

I had my presentation for the On-Landscape, A Meeting of the Minds Conference, clearly in my mind.   I had decided to tackle head on Joe Cornish’s off the cuff remark about not understanding photographers preoccupation with ‘negative space’.  I decided to call my talk ‘The Space Between’, where I was aiming to explore the Japanese concept of Ma and the German Gestault concept of Figure / Ground, as this is a key obsession in my own work.

Negative Space was on my mind as I wandered the walk through the lush pine forest.  

This photograph was just before I returned to the house after two hours of wandering and photographing.   I felt very blessed, being the first knowing that so many photographers who will visit Tim will photograph this very forest. I wondered what others would see. 

Tim’s Dream is to build a camera from the wood in his backyard and to photograph the area.  I can’t wait to see the results.

I posted this photograph on Facebook and Ann-Marie commented that it was a negative space Christmas tree. She is right, not that I saw it as that when I took it.  I was though, very aware of the shape of the space between the trees mirroring thier own shapes.  She clearly understands what I was playing with in this artwork. 

I hope it brings a smile to you.  For those that celebrate Christmas please enjoy my best wishes. Cyan tells me he will have trouble sleeping and will be first up for the gifts. For me it will be with my family.

For those of you that don’t please accept my best wishes for the end of the solstice.  The three shortest or longest days in the year. 


Scotland Pine Trees.  Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2018

Artist | Writer | Photographer | Educator | Adventurer