Saturday, April 23, 2016

Same Tree, Different Day: Mike Pach's photography project

Posted By on Sat, Apr 23, 2016 at 8:35 AM

click to enlarge A deer feeds at sunset. "Three different days I photographed the deer and they all just happened to be there. The deer were somehow in exactly the right place. I had lots of things like that happen," says Pach. - MIKE PACH
  • Mike Pach
  • A deer feeds at sunset. "Three different days I photographed the deer and they all just happened to be there. The deer were somehow in exactly the right place. I had lots of things like that happen," says Pach.
Professional photographer Mike Pach spent the last year photographing the same tree everyday and the results are breathtaking. Pach is a local photographer and host of the Photo Show, a radio show on photography 93.9-FM KCMJ.

Pach found inspiration for his project on a winter's day when he looked outside and saw a Hackberry tree in a local park, just outside of his backyard, covered in snow and ice.

Pach was inspired to take a photograph of the tree and then decided to continue photographing the scene for an entire year. The results of this year-long project can be seen at his blog Same Tree, Different Day

Each morning, Pach woke at sunrise to photograph the tree. If sunrise wasn't cooperating he spent time watching the scene throughout the day "to see what happens."

What happened included deer grazing in the perfect spot during a sunset, a moonrise over the tree on Christmas Eve and an incredible shot of lightning that drapes the tree perfectly, among others. 

click to enlarge A full moon rises behind the Hackberry tree on Christmas Eve.  "I knew there was going to be a full moon and I had planned to take photographs as the moon was rising," says Pach. - MIKE PACH
  • Mike Pach
  • A full moon rises behind the Hackberry tree on Christmas Eve. "I knew there was going to be a full moon and I had planned to take photographs as the moon was rising," says Pach.

"There's no manipulation in any of the three photos. There were just times when I felt a connection and I was given the perfect picture," says Pach. 

Being in an "open state" is an important part of the process. "I like to take time each day to put myself in that open state to be creative. When I practice that, these kinds of things come to me more easily." 

The project also provided Pach with the motivation to get up in the morning. Pach suffers from depression and says getting out of bed can be one of the day's biggest challenges. 

"The fact that I had to get up at sunrise was a huge thing. It really gave me something that would make me get out of bed because I was excited to see what was going on." 

click to enlarge A lightning storm erupts over the tree. "I couldn’t have asked for a better photo, the way the lightning drapes the tree. It was just another one of those times when I was given the perfect picture," Pach says. - MIKE PACH
  • Mike Pach
  • A lightning storm erupts over the tree. "I couldn’t have asked for a better photo, the way the lightning drapes the tree. It was just another one of those times when I was given the perfect picture," Pach says.

Most recently, Pach began an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise the money to frame and print his favorite images and hang them in local galleries. You can contribute to his project by purchasing a print or personal instruction from Mike at his Indiegogo site here

Pach also wants to present the project, the message and the lessons he learned to anyone who's interested. 

"This project really helped me manage my life throughout the year, and I think what I've learned in doing this is that I can help others who are facing their own challenges," he says.

Colorado Springs wedding photographer Sean Cayton loves remarkable photographs and the stories behind them. You can see his wedding work at caytonphotography.com, his personal work at seancayton.com and his editorial work in the Colorado Springs Independent. Submit your photo and the story behind the image - no more than two a week, please - to sean@caytonphotography.com for consideration in upcoming blogs.

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