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Elizabeth Gentile

Seaside Gardens

Caroling Geary

Little Green Corner

Maplewood, New Jersey, USA

Solstice, 2006-06-21, 7:00 am EDT (12:00 UTC)

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© 2006 Caroling Geary, Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons License



These words along the bottom edge of the panorama form the title of a poem by Dylan Thomas that has long spoken to me of the nature of nature.

June 20 - June 25, 2006 I'm in New Jersey, the "Garden State". The town is Maplewood. For the past two months of my spring visit here, I've walked to the post office, passing small plantings in front of houses, potted plants in store windows, and volunteers (natives or weeds) sprouting up where ever they can. At first seeing buds of leaves, then buds of flowers, blooms, now some are already withered and gone to seed. Many of the buildings are 75 years old. On the residential street, mature trees and bushes tower over the houses, surrounding them with birdcalls. On the business street, stores and traffic crowd out the plants. I'm drawn to a green strip with an inviting triangular corner garden. During the blazing hot days, the garden is especially healing.

After dawn, in the cool of the morning, just before the solstice on June 21 at 7:21 local time (12:21 UTC), I go around the gate and enter a garden. There are familiar house and landscape plants. Some look like lily, iris, lilac, yucca, and yew. Someone placed the cherub statue, now beat up, but still an expression of ecstatic dance. What was this garden like when planted? Does anyone maintain it? How many of these plants seeded themselves? Mystery entices me to explore each lovely detail. In the center I turn all around, photographing for the WWP panorama. Later in the afternoon I return to photograph the exterior and details shown on wholeo.net, my website. That night I itched a couple of bug bites. Small price to pay for this intimate encounter.

Additional Caption: Behind the scene : how this panorama was made ▼

Poem by Dylan Thomas



USA-Canada / USA-New Jersey

Lat: 40° 43' 16.34" N
Long: 74° 15' 54.2" W

Elevation: 211 feet

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: High. Pinpoints the exact spot.

OpenStreetMap: © OpenStreetMap contributors


Visual: Canon 300D (Digital Rebel) dSLR camera, Nodal Ninja panohead, EF-S 10-22mm lens, RAW, IS0 100, 1/30 sec at f/4.5, focal length 12 mm to capture eight images. Photoshop CS and QuickTime VR Authoring Studio to stitch and process panorama. QuickTime Pro 7.1.1 for copyright and fast start preview tracks. Audio: Canon G2 MiniDV Camcorder to capture ambient sounds. Final Cut Express 2 to edit and save as AIFF. Audacity 1.2.3 to convert to MP3. Macromedia Flash 8 to compress and export as QuickTime movie. Platform: Macintosh computer: Dual 2.7 GHz Power PC G5.

Behind the scene : how this panorama was made

Here are some comments about the choices I made in creating this panorama.

I honor the solstices and equinoxes as celestial events marking our relationship with the earth, sun, moon, galaxy and stars. My goal is to record the panorama at that time. The low morning sun was behind a building, leaving the little green corner dark. Within, I was wrapped in low green light. To keep the experience intact, I did not fill in the glare in the sky and buildings brightly illuminated by the rising sun. I hope your eyes can adapt and see in the shadows.

I used 35% compression, which is the lowest I've ever used. The intimate space, the uneven ground, and my neglligence caused stitching errors at the lower part of every seam. I did not fix them all, rationalizing that the leaves of plants so often look practically identical anyway.

For the poem, in Photoshop, I arranged the ten words like petals at the vertexes of a pentagon. Converting from polar to rectangular fit the letters to the panorama source graphic.

For the audio, I picked the sequence with the most variety: squirrels, busy road traffic, and a chorus of birds from rhythmic to melodious. The time is a few days after the solstice and the place is the same neighborhood.
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