Frozen Apples poster

24"x 36" poster -- $20

 

Discovering a poster

 

This photo was taken from the orchard of a ranch house. The orchard has not been harvested for fifty years. Old timers say these apples are a variety of wine apple used to make applejack. In the spring the trees grow thousands of pink and white blossoms that smell like a sweet perfume. This picture was taken on a freezing cold October morning, at about 7 a.m. The temperature dipped below freezing. By morning the air warmed up to the point where it suspended tiny droplets of water, big enough to see. A quarter inch of ice covered everything.

 

It was something I discovered at a Christmas party in 1988. I knew I was going to be bored that year. So, to make things a little more interesting I took photos of flowers, fruit on the vine, birds, and bees. I collected them in a drawer. By the end of the year the pile in the drawer had grown to over an inch thick. I looked them over one by one and discarded the worst ones. The lower right was one of them. I thought it was too dark and dreary. I actually tossed it in the wastebasket. Then I pulled it out, thinking it would make the other pictures in the bunch look that much better. I don't see myself as a photographer. But, anything for people to look at and fidget with makes good ice breaker material at family Christmas parties. I passed the stack to my aunt. She pulled this picture out saying "Awe! You should make a poster out of this one." I assumed the pictures were all really bad because I almost trashed the one she liked best. Then I took the stack around the corner. I saw my mother and gave her the stack. She flips through and pulls out the same photo; "I like this one," she said. I thought it was just a coincidence. It was too soon for the Christmas cocktails to be influencing opinion. Neither one of them knew that the other had seen the photos, or that they existed for that matter. I moved to the living room where my sister was. She was a real photographer. She was 36 years old. She worked for NBC in Burbank and won prizes for entries that had she made in photography contests at NBC. I shuffled the stack once more and passed it to her. This was the first time she was aware that the pictures existed. I was dumbfounded. She picks the frozen apples picture and says; " this would make a nice black and white poster."

 

I couldn't believe it. I had no interest in making a poster and I didn't intend to. I put the pictures back in the drawer to be forgotten. In a way I was disappointed that what I thought was most interesting was completely overlooked. And worse, what I thought was worst was regarded as the best by three important women.

 

A year and a half later, I was in college with nothing creative to do. Making a poster frame was something that could be done on computer. And colleges usually have nice computers. I used a Macintosh to mount the best part of the picture in a frame for a poster. I figured, what the heck! Four people felt compelled to select this photograph for one reason or another. Maybe there was something special about it. I had 500 posters printed up on high quality paper. The black and white print is mounted on a buff colored background. It appeals to a mature female audience. About half the people who bought it mounted it in a 2' x 3' frame. Others used it as a neutral piece of art to decorate walls and doors.

 

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