Tree Circles In Snow

photograph and text by Daniel Stephens

Tree Circles In Snow

[Camera: Hasselblad 500C/M]
[Film: Fuji Peel Apart 3000 ISO]
[Captured: March 6, 2013]
[Location: Rockport, Maine]

It’s late afternoon in Maine; late winter. The overcast sky lends a silver-grey patina to everything beneath it. Across the street is a stand of trees hanging about, rustling amongst themselves, as trees are want to do on a snow day. At the base of each tree, a circle of snow encompassing last year’s now dormant lawn. Tree circles. Each tree has one. The size of the circle seems somehow related to the breadth of the tree, but with that slightly chaotic irregularity that makes it true. And delightful.

Above and in front of the trees hangs a pair of electrical lines pulled snug between two tall, wooden telephone poles. Well, in this case, I suppose they’re electrical poles. Something about the trees, the snow circles and the electrical lines seems too delightful to pass up. I rush out into the cold with the Hasselblad and its ungainly Polaroid back.

One tidbit about this photo – and others taken on Fuji peel apart instant film – is that the visible image area is smaller than the available image area. This is because the Hasselblad makes 6x6cm images and the Fuji film has a 4.25×3.25 available image area. It’s also the case that the Hasselblad Polaroid back for peel apart film offsets the image slightly. Thus the resulting image looks a bit, well, strange. But I tend to like the strangeness of it.