Mother Nature’s Greatest Hits #13926

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The Story

If you play the piano, would you play this one? On a keyboard levitating magically weightless above a pond under blue skies? This piano lives out in the open. It’s only ever played by Mother Nature, here in one of her spacious and lush summer living rooms. She loves to make music for her children, those of us who live in her world.

This keyboard is very mysterious and certainly a brain teaser. How did this picture come to be?

This picture started with finding this piano dumped in the corner of a country truck stop parking lot. I was there for breakfast one summer morning and spotted the back of this old upright at the end of a line of parked trucks. Intrigued, I walked over to it.

Naturally, there was a lot of trash lying around the piano with weeds coming up through the entire mess. Some mud and other funk too. There were even some large sections of a broken plate glass mirror in the pile. Of course, the camera was along so I took a number of shots that day like Play It Again #13416 and Last Refrain #13507. This cast-off instrument really intrigued me with all the grit and character only abandonment and time can give. The true grit of another nature, for certain.

The little country truck stop isn’t far from home, so I made another piano visit a few weeks later. That’s when things got more interesting. Interesting because some punkers had pushed the piano onto its back, leaving the keyboard facing the sky and the blue summer heavens.

I cleaned the broken mirror pieces and laid them on the piano butted against the keyboard. Setting the tripod low, this photograph was made out across the mirror and into the green woods behind. But this trick photography shot needed just one more small step to finish: it was flipped upside down to make a one-of-a-kind brain teaser out of it.

So the secret is out: this levitation of a seemingly weightless piano was a simple sky reversal done with mirrors and then flipped. It was taken in one shot with no digital tricks. In fact, you could also do this with a film camera. To see a different version of this crazy keyboard, have a look at Song For The Sky #13925.

Location: Munster, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. Picture and text © Andrew Dierks

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