‘Picture this’ photo contest: ‘Genius loci’ edition

OK. Time to commit. I wish that I had a whole season for this month’s ‘Picture This’ photo contest assignment. But going through the comments the prelim post where I ran through more than a dozen contenders from earlier seasons, I’m going to rely on the advice I got from Laurie:

“[Go with] the last one. You captured it with your comment ‘the gradation from human to wild’. It tells the story of your place in one shot: how it’s a safe created harbor where human stuff happens (picnicking, potting, sitting,) but it is only just barely contained inside a little fortress of tall flowering ramparts… then the outside untamed world takes over. I am sensing a first prize again.”

And yes, I am very much aware of Julie Moir Messervy’s harbor archetype.

old pix

‘Picture this’ prelim: The ‘genius loci’ of Ellis Hollow

My favorite part of the gardening blogosphere is Gardening Gone Wild’s Picture This photo contest. I’ve had the honor of winning twice and the privilege of judging once.

What I like most about the contest is that it often pushes me — a rank amateur photographer — to venture beyond my boundaries and comfort level. It makes me a better (though still not great) garden photographer.

So I’m a little bit frustrated with this month’s ‘assignment’: One shot that captures the ‘Genius loci – the special atmosphere of a place’.

That’s a tough assignment for a garden in February in snowy upstate New York. Sure, we have a genius loci in winter. But it’s not really focused on the garden. And good luck to folks in Chicago and across much of the U.S. going out to capture that special shot this month.

But I’m undeterred. This gives me a good excuse to go back through old images to see if any capture that. I do a lot more close-up and medium range shooting. But I think I’ve got some longer shots that might capture a bit of the genius loci. Maybe I’ve succeeded? Maybe not.

And here’s where you come in. I have some favorite genius loci shots, what with living here and all. But from an outside perspective, which of the following images to you think best captures the ‘genius loci’ of Ellis Hollow?

From one of my first posts. I suspect the ridge to the west will be a familiar theme.
early landscape

From 2005? My banner is (and always has been) a slice of this image.

Same image with tilt-shift treatment.
tilt shift trials

The white pine, the lone crab apple in the marsh and the ridge help define this place.
lonely apple

From June 2007. Decent overview with nice light. But the Norway maple is no longer with us. Might be a little more clinical than spiritual.
june panorama

One of my favorite borrowed scenery shots.
walk view

Front with tilt-shift treatment.
tilt shift trials

Water garden, Sept. 2007.
water garden, fall morning

Grasses, Sept. 2007
grasses sunday morning

Dare I submit a video of a day …

The day in 50 seconds from Craig Cramer on Vimeo.

Or a season?

Veggie bed close up from Craig Cramer on Vimeo.

Fall grasses and bottles maybe?
silhouetted grasses

Will a stitched image tell the tale?
new view two
Larger view

Sunbeams. A little trite?

This might be the closest thing I have to showing the gradation from human to wild.
old pix

Looking these over, I’m starting to envision the shots I wish I’d taken. So maybe this assignment will be a good motivator.

Which one do you think I should enter?