This photograph by Krysia Lukkakson is one of those beautiful and haunting black and white photographs that I just cannot manage to forget. The shallow depth fo field that seems to allow the pomegranate fruit to appear suspended in the air, as though some wood-ghosts are tossing these back and forth in some kind of weird orchard playground.
The low contrast image without any real strong whites (highlights) and minimal areas that does not appear to have any absolute blacks provides a low key mood to this rural California landscape. As a result of the shallow depth of field, there is an overall softness to the image that pulls me, the reader, into the orchard. Although I can faintly see the distant horizon on my walk down the orchard’s pathway, I find that I want to reach a center point to just stand and contemplate the maze of trees and suspended fruit. Thus, exhibiting a very nice lyrical quality.
There is enough ambiguity to the photograph that it might be located anywhere, not necessarily in California. As to this being an expansive and probably commercial orchard, during my first look I thought it was an apple orchard. Then recognizing the profile of the suspended fruit, realized that this is a pomegranate orchard, that allowed me to recall my time in Italy walking amongst the many small colorful pomegranate orchards found there. The time of year hints at a time past the fall, as the leaves appear to be gone, but before spring budding, metaphorically a winter solstice. There is also a sense of mystery; why is the fruit still present as should it not have been picked before this time?
I first had the opportunity to see this photograph as a portfolio reviewer for Los Angeles Center of Photography’s ‘Exposure Weekend’. Lukkason was looking for feedback on a California project she was working on essentially making photographic road trips to capture the essence of each of the California counties, having grown up in Northern California and at that time, living in Southern California (she has since moved to the greater Atlanta area in Georgia). I was so taken by this singular image that she photographed in Kern County that following her portfolio review, we arranged a print trade. She printed this on Canson Platine Fibre Rag paper, which creates an equally elegant print for this photographic image.
Lukkason recently attended my creative book workshop thru SouthEast Center of Photography and I had the opportunity to see this image again. This time with the photograph in the context of a larger edit of this body of work, while we discussed potential sequencing of her narrative as she continues to move toward eventual publication.
Lukkason has a web-site www.krysialukkason.com and on Instagram (@klukkason) and Facebook (@krysia.lukkason) but does not have gallery representation at this time. She has recently started a newsletter which you can sign-up for by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org to follow along on her progress.