How the Art Happens - Snow Tango

May 08, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Snow TangoSnow TangoSpring brings wet heavy snow to a pair of Cottonwood trees with a tire swing in Gunnison County, Colorado. Crested Butte photography

Snow Tango

Midway between Crested Butte and Gunnison, Colorado, like towers in the middle of the pasture, there are these two Cottonwood trees. Years ago someone installed a tire swing from the high branches. It's been there for as long as I can remember. I travel past this scene several times a week.

Occasionally I'll see someone pulled over to the shoulder and taking pictures. I never did. Until this one day. Fresh snow had softened the dark branches giving them a velvet-like texture in the diffused and foggy light. The fog hid most of the background of houses, fences, cattle, and corrals. The trees were close enough to the road that the fog had little effect on them. They almost glowed against the white surroundings. The scene was almost, but not quite, monochromatic. The subject was completely isolated against the normal confusion of its background.

So, I stopped and made a few photographs. I played with a variety of focal lengths until I discovered a comfortable composition with just the right amount of subject and space. Some people refer to the empty space around the subject as "negative space". I believe that name is kind of  negative and I think that space is extremely positive and necessary to create a compelling composition.

This is the presentation I have settled on. To see what it looks like on canvas click on the link. I hope you enjoy "Snow Tango".

I always struggle with titles for my work. I shared this image on my Facebook page and asked for help coming up with a title. Several friends offered suggestions but a dear friend from college turned me in the right direction with her suggestion of "Spring Tango" which I chose for the first prints. While the photo was actually made in the spring, that season here in the Colorado Rockies really looks more like winter everywhere else in the country. I think the "Snow Tango" title makes a little more sense.


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Crested Butte, Colorado photographer, Dusty Demerson creates fine art photography displayed as prints and canvases and provides private photo tours in and around western Colorado.

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