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Matinee: Mike Pach's 'Same Tree, Different Day' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

17 June 2017

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 192nd in our series of Saturday matinees today: Mike Pach's 'Same Tree, Different Day.'

This short Off The Wall documentary by Ralph Giordano focuses on a photography project by Colorado Springs photographer Mike Pach. The subject of Pach's Same Tree, Different Day project was a tree in a nearby park that he could see from his back yard.

Making lunch in his kitchen one winter day, he found himself staring at it and the longer he looked, the more he appreciated the subtle beauty of its limbs lined with ice and covered in snow after a storm. Inspired by how it looked, he decided later that same day to photograph it every day for a year.

And that's just what he did between Jan. 12, 2015 and Jan. 11, 2016.

Pach hosts The Photo Show in which his guests have included Rick Sammon and Andrew Darlow. The show airs live every other Monday at 7:30 pm MT. Next Monday, for example, he'll be interviewing Bob Jackson, the photographer who won the Pulitzer for his photo of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald.

His plan was to take a shot of the tree from the same spot every day at sunrise.

He's been a photographer himself for 30 years, he says at the start of the video, having caught the bug on his first visit to Colorado when he borrowed his brother's camera to capture the beauty he found all around him.

His plan was to take a shot of the tree from the same spot every day at sunrise. On the days he didn't get a good shot at sunrise, he kept his eye on the situation throughout the day for a better opportunity.

Something always happened, he found to his surprise. Some days he'd even end up with more than one good shot, each of which took him about two hours to do with post processing, he estimates. So there are more than 365 shots in the series.

He posted the images to the Same Tree, Different Day blog, all of them captioned and sometimes with a story. Dig into the archives to see the individual day shots.

In fact, one of the fun ways to enjoy the collection is to find the image he took on your birthday or anniversary or other special day. We started with Dec. 10, which is the day we launched Photo Corners, and found an image with a cloud that looks like a dollar sign (we suspect it was being blown away).

Since completing the project a year and a half ago, he's given nine presentations on it, had six gallery shows and is working on other projects related to the images including a DVD (not, however, 365+ T-shirts).

One of the messages of the project, he says, is the importance of being aware of the un-tweeting beauty surrounding you. It's easy to miss "all this great stuff that's going on around us."

The payoff for paying attention?

"One tree and one year is what it took for me to find my voice," Pach says about the project.

Not a bad trade-off.

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