Conjure up old ghosts

Even though Spanish moss is found just right inside the cliche bag when drawing upon southern scenery in every media form, there is no denying its natural, haunting quality. I’ve always been fascinated with it, and recently an Against Me! song has been stuck in my head, precisely named Spanish Moss. The vocalist, Tom Gabel, a Florida native, builds to the lyric, “Look into the Spanish moss / Let your mind conjure up old ghosts/ Ride your bike through lost Florida streets.” The lyric fits into a powerful, organic meaning for the song and touches right upon the surreal moment of being alone and encountering these bearded trees.  The picture above is a recent encounter on Lake Bistineau, and I was excited to find them. But this proved to be a difficult place to photograph because every tree is drenched with the moss and the trees teem the scene. I’ve tried a number of ways to develop this picture. B&W was too busy, a more clear tone lost the dreaminess. In the end, I went with a basic split tone between greens & orange, and then attempted to create dimension with highlights and shadows. A wider shot would have been nice, but that area was suffocating, a Spanish moss jungle. Much, much more moss to follow…

2 thoughts on “Conjure up old ghosts

  1. Let me say, first. I know nothing about photography. That said. I love this image and especially paired with your title. I can conjure up ghosts and they are lovely and dancing in the sunlight. Beautiful!

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