Saturday, 7 January 2017

Sherwood Forest Fracking Threat - Photography Week 1 (2017)

The first post of the year was prompted by a news article in the Guardian: Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest faces fracking threat (1)

I tend to steer clear of politics when it comes to my photography preferring to focus more on the fine art* aspects of picture making than current affairs. That said, an interest and passion for landscape photography inevitably raises issues about the treatment and protection of the environment. I do not think it is possible to successfully photograph the landscape without having an emotional response to the subject matter - be it a National Park and a stretch of coast line or a protected forestry area like Sherwood Forest.

So it was with some concern that I read about fracking surveys in and around Sherwood Forest - an area that I regularly go to walk and photograph - and a place that could be described as the spiritual home of the oak tree.

It is said that an oak spends 300 years growing, 300 years resting and 300 years declining gracefully (2). I particularly like the declining gracefully description as some of the most characterful oaks in the forest, including the Major Oak, are well into that final phase of life. Deserving the title of ancient oaks, these last phase trees provide a home to many insects including some that are rare or endangered.

This first set of images of 2017 pays homage to Sherwood's oak trees in the hope that we don't take their existence for granted as we strive for solutions to our energy needs..... or perhaps more cynically, pursue short term economic gains at the expense of our environment.

There are, of course, many other types of tree in the forest including beech, pine, and silver birch:

By mid-afternoon the only sunlight is high in the trees:

Lines, shapes and textures in the forest can be emphasized by switching to black and white:

*Fine art photography can be defined as photography for non-commercial purposes (e.g. art for art's sake) or photography for sale and display but not specifically commissioned. The 'fine' in fine art does not necessarily refer to the quality of the photography or indeed refer to the quality of the photographer!

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