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That Tree: A Year in the Life of a Lonely Oak

Photos by Mark Hirsch | Text by Della Watson

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Enigmatic images serve as markers for the year's events—this particular storm coincided with Election Day. "I was up at 5 a.m.," Hirsch recalls. "That day I was shooting rural polling places in Wisconsin and Iowa for Getty Images." Squeezing in a few moments between photo shoots, Hirsch knew that he couldn't wait for the weather to change. "So I drove back to my tree," he says. "Snowflakes were melting on the truck window. I deactivated fixed focus and the camera auto-focused on the first thing—the snow drops." In the melted snow, our perception is upended—the familiar tree appears shrunken and inverted.


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