All photos © Mark Hertzberg (2022)
I have been to Taliesin countless times, but never in winter, until Sunday when we had a lunch date with our friend, Minerva Montooth. It had snowed overnight. We would not be able to get to Spring Green until Noon, so there would be no photos in the morning’s “golden light.” I fared better in that respect in the late afternoon. But in between, at Noon, there was a rich, rich blue sky.
Except for this first photo, I am taking you on a tour of Taliesin in the order I photographed the estate. Get comfortable, there are lots of photos. and you will see how my day’s take evolved. The first stop was a drive through the Visitor’s Center or Riverview Terrace. First, this establishing shot, and then a few details that caught my eye:
Then onto Hillside, to enter the estate from that end…but I found that the driveway is closed for winter. No matter. I saw these views of Midway Barn and Romeo and Juliet windmill on the road to Hillside. The towers are vertical punctuation marks to the horizontal composition of Midway:
I played with different ways to photograph Romeo and Juliet and Tan-y-Deri as we approached the driveway to Taliesin:
The house as seen from the approach did not photograph well at midday, but I took record shots. I wish there was more snow on the hill below the birdwalk:
I was happier with what I saw from below the house, starting with the lead photo in this piece.
I am a photojournalist. As we say in our circles, after you find a photo, you “work it.” I have to thank John Clouse again for offering to sell me his 200-500mm lens at a good price last summer. While a newspaper colleague of mine in the early 1980s – before today’s fine zoom lenses – once said that “The best telephoto lens is your feet,” (i.e., walk toward and away from your subject rather than rely on the lens), this lens was especially welcome on a cold day after a fresh snowfall. I thought of the countless treks through the estate that the incomparable Pedro Guerrero made when he took his many memorable black and white winter photographs of Taliesin. What would he have done in color, or would he have stayed with black and white, which he printed so beautifully?
The bird walk is an extraordinary cantilever:
Caroline Hamblen was returning from feeding her chickens in the apple orchard as I crested the hill:
Then it was time to park and explore on foot:
The next photo is at Minerva’s front door:
I saw this on my way in:
I saw this on my way out after lunch and lively conversation:
Then, one more swing through the estate with magic light at the “golden hour”:
Farewell, Taliesin, until next time!