Nine Pines Nine Pines Nine Pines Nine Pines Nine Pines Nine Pines Nine Pines Nine Pines Nine Pines

 Nine Pines. Near Les Cayes, Haiti. 2008

I wanted to be by the sea at sunset. A balmy breeze silked through these (Hispaniolian?) pines. Later, I found out that this particular type of native pine survives in very shallow, infertile soil because of a symbiotic relationship with a fungus. Which, to some extent, seemed  to explained why they were thriving, for now, on a heavily polluted beach.

I was overwhelmed by the softness and bare presence of wind-pine-sky overhead and the revolting feel of decaying plastic underfoot. The south-facing beach was smothered, as far as I could see, with a morass of plastic. In places it was over 30 centimeters thick.

Nine frames were exposed with an intent to collage them into one image, thinking it was the most suitable way to render the swirl and gloom, the luminosity and desperation of this moment. The Scottish word for this time of day, but with a much more positive meaning, is gloaming. It is neither fully dark or light, neither positive or negative, but just full and balanced, poised only for a moment, and thus very magical. The Third Heaven includes just the top left and lower right images (first and last) of the 9×9 grid. The two images sit next to an abstract image of a plant (‘Frond‘), and the photograph of Coleb Leforest studying for an exam. Gloaming. Full of promise, but also about to be consumed by transition. Light, sky, air, pines, fungus, plastic.

Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar lens, Ilford HP5 film, processed in Pyro PMK