The farm we lived on in my youth was actually the property of my grandfather, though my father worked it and it wasn't until Grandpa died that I realized it wasn't ours. It was, and still is, my home place, the place that holds first importance in my heart. But it wasn't the only farm in my life, even in those innocent days. My father and his younger brother had purchased and split another farm a few miles to the west along Bois d'Arc Creek. So, if the house on hill and the surrounding property was my primary stomping grounds, the Bois d'Arc Creek farm was my second. The sycamores of my youth grew on the Bois d'Arc Creek property. They grew in single file down in the bottom near the creek itself, and they were magnificent - tall, and stately, proudly bearing their singular bark. I called them my cathedral trees. Walking among them, the universe felt immense and full of promise.
So it was frustrating that none of the images I made of sycamore specimens satisfied me. I tried again and again, but could not commit to any of the images I created. Then I ran across something Ansel Adams wrote in 1983. He used the phrase "reasonable catholicism of approach" in talking about his evaluation and tolerance of some of the changes occurring then in the field of modern photography. The phrase struck me and I decided to use some reasonable catholicism of my own. The image you see here may not qualify as a lumen print in the strictest terms. It is the digital blend of the original lumen print, which had lovely detail, with a chemically toned version of that same print, The toned print developed color more pleasing to my eye, but had lost detail in the process. There is something about the merger of the two images that I find appealing - not just as an image, but appealing in the process. Since the chemical process of toning irrevocably transforms the original print, capturing the original digitally and using it to restore what was lost feels affirming to me - a reclamation, a validation of sorts. Perhaps I need to coin a new label - let's call this one a DuoDigiLumen.