Christmas Morning in the Woods

Christmas Morning in the Woods

Editorial comments on this plate:

OUR photo-gravure embellishment to this number of The Photographic Times is from a negative by the editor of our magazine, and was actually made on a Christmas morning two or three years ago. It is a typical winter scene in the woods of New Jersey, and in photogravure possesses a Christmas feeling which makes it an especially appropriate illustration for our Holiday Number. The air is clear, cold and crisp. Just the morning for photographing out of doors. Distances seem near, and there is a sparkle and life to the scene which does not seem strange at this, the “dead ” season of the year. “There is the elixir of perpetual summer even in the woods in winter,” says Dr. Abbott, in his “Outings at Odd Times,” and he is speaking of the woods of New Jersey.
“When I walk in the woods in summer I think of the trees as a shelter,” he writes. “They go to form a protection alike against the sun and passing shower. And if I turn from the old cart-path it is but to enter some one-side compartment of a great labyrinth of rooms. No one tree calls for observation. They are as the inner walls of a great house, and what they surround alone commands attention. It is going out of doors as much to leave the thick woods as to pass from your dwelling. But now, during December’s bright, cheery, winter days, every tree in these same woods becomes my companion. We are exposed to the same sunny sky, and as I wander from one to another, each has its pleasant greeting from me. This has been a life-long fancy of mine. Walk up to a century-old oak, and how promptly it speaks to you of giant strength and sturdy independence; turn then to a stately liquid-ambar and you are greeted with exquisite grace. I can point out in the old woods here at home the counterparts of many a man I know. The lonely wild apple on a gravelly knoll is as crabbed as my crusty neighbor who begrudges me a few flint arrowheads. I think I should be soured by wandering half a day in a forest of wild-apple trees. There is no such feeling when with the oaks, beeches, chestnuts, and silver birch. They recall no unfortunates among one’s acquaintance. Every tree of them is content with the world as it finds it, and so too am I when surrounded by them. * * * * It is December, the day is cold, the trees are leafless, the ground frozen; but not a thought of all this had clouded my joy for half a day. There, is the elixir of perpetual summer even in the woods in winter, and happy is he who can find it.”
The negative was on a Carbutt Keystone “B” plate and the lens used was a Morrison (eight-inch-back-focus) wide-angle lens. The plate was developed with a pyro-potash developer, and has been reproduced by the N. Y. Photo-Gravure Company.

title engraved to this work within plate impression:

Christmas Morning in the Woods

Image Dimensions18.0 x 13.3 cm | published December 19, 1890 | issue No. 483

Support Dimensions28.7 x 20.5 cm