1996-2019  •  Ryan J. Bush, Ph.D.  •  all rights reserved

LOCATION

650-766-5854

4010 Moorpark Avenue

Suite #216

San Jose, CA 95117 

PRODUCTS & OFFERINGS

  • wide range of museum-quality, limited edition photographs, both framed and unframed

  • books on art, poetry, and consciousness

  • in-person and online workshops and presentations

  • video art, meditation downloads

  • one-on-one consultation and coaching, to increase creativity and artistic vision, and make progress on personal and spiritual development

ABOUT

Ryan J. Bush, Ph.D. is a fine-art photographer, author of The Music of Trees and co-author of A Singing Wire, and Reiki master/teacher based in Los Gatos, California. He has been photographing seriously since 1996, using techniques such as abstraction, multiple exposure, 3-D photography, and video art to explore themes of consciousness, oneness, our connection with nature, and the sacred hidden in the mundane.

RYAN BUSH PHOTOGRAPHY

Tree Portraits  (2003 - 2009)

have always been drawn to the music of trees, such as the hypnotic sway of shimmering leaves in summer, and the lyric rhythm of bare branches in winter. My love of trees goes back to when I was a boy growing up in Port Huron, Michigan, next to a forested vacant lot that I loved to explore. It was a mysterious, magical place where trees towered overhead, gently singing their quiet, rustling duet with the wind. We moved away from Michigan after I finished elementary school, but those trees have appeared in my dreams ever since. Trees were one of my first subjects when I started photographing seriously, and the series Tree Portraits, which is included in my first book, The Music of Trees, played a crucial role in helping me find my voice as an abstract artist.

About the series

I have always been drawn to the music of trees, such as the hypnotic sway of shimmering leaves in summer, and the lyric rhythm of bare branches in winter. My love of trees goes back to when I was a boy growing up in Port Huron, Michigan, next to a forested vacant lot that I loved to explore. It was a mysterious, magical place where trees towered overhead, gently singing their quiet, rustling duet with the wind. We moved away from Michigan after I finished elementary school, but those trees have appeared in my dreams ever since. Trees were one of my first subjects when I started photographing seriously, and the series Tree Portraits, which is included in my first book, The Music of Trees, played a crucial role in helping me find my voice as an abstract artist.

 

 As I tell in The Music of Trees, in early 2004 I felt I was in a bit of a rut. After getting my Ph.D. in Linguistics, I was working in high tech, designing speech recognition systems, but wasn't able to make as much time for my photography as I wanted. I noticed that on my lunch breaks from work, I walked the same path almost every weekday, but never brought along my Hasselblad camera. It wasn’t just that the camera was heavy, but I had never seen anything there that I particularly wanted to photograph on this route. However, I knew that when we look through the eye of the camera, hidden things sometimes appear that we might not otherwise notice. So, one day when the quiet voice of intuition said I should take my camera, I decided to pay attention - who knows what I would see if I really look, rather than being caught up in my thoughts like usual? 

I’m glad I listened to my intuition, because that day I took several photographs that were break-throughs for me, including one of an unusually-square tree that I’d never noticed before. The resulting photograph, “The Beginning”, was named based on the feeling I got when I saw the image first emerge in the darkroom. I felt indescribably elated, like I was feeling the beginning of a new space opening up within myself. In the area above the tree, I felt complete freedom, bounded by the physical edge of the photograph, both infinite and complete. That was one of my first moments of transcendence, where I clearly felt the pull of the ineffable, an exquisite mystery much larger than myself. Something clicked inside me, and I knew I had found my voice as an abstract photographer.

 

That same day brought two of my other favorite photographs from this series, “Gymnopedie” and “Meditation #3”, from along the same route that I had previously found so uninteresting. I photographed “Meditation #3” in daylight, but a straight print didn’t have the same strength as the image I had in my mind when I was taking the photograph. Following my intuition (and the constantly-experimental style of my hero Harry Callahan), I inverted the image in the darkroom using an inter-positive, to get a vibrant image of crackling electricity, like the flash of lightning across the wide night sky, or the flash of illumination in an awakening mind.

 

As can be seen by looking at the list of plates at the back of this book, the influence of music extends to the titles of several pieces in the Tree Portraits series. For example, “Gymnopédie” is named after the piano pieces by Eric Satie which were a favorite of both my father and me. “Tree Canon” was named after the canons that I loved playing on the flute, while “Silouans Song”  was named after the moving, spiritual composition of the same name by Arvo Pärt. 

All photographs are archival pigment prints on the highly-textured Hahnemuehle William Turner paper, and are available at 12" x 12",  20"x20", 40"x40", and 60"x60".

 

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