Saturday, 20 January 2018

Sherwood Revisited (October 2017)

With autumn colours lacking in my Southwell Trail images and many grey weather days during October, I decided to re-try my luck in Sherwood Forest.

It had been just over two weeks since my last visit and whilst there were some signs of autumn progressing there was not the rustic colours I had hoped for. In addition, it was another grey October day but that was not necessarily bad for the photography.

Photographing in strong sunlight in the forest can constrain the compositions as the light tends to dominate, often becoming the subject. The exposures can also be hard to control. Flat light on the other hand opens up the forest for compositions based on tree shapes and more subtle differences in tone. The trade off for this compositional freedom is a lack of punch or the immediate impact that strong light often provides in a picture.

My favourite photograph from this visit and is a panorama comprising of three overlapping images. I like how the dead tree trunk and branches on the right balance with the large oak setback on the left. The right hand part of the panorama also works as a single image:

I really enjoy the shapes of trees in the forest and single tree portraits have started to be a feature of my woodland photography:

Making connections between trees using the lines of the branches or using the branches to frame parts of the image are compositional techniques that I like to use in woodland scenes as demonstrated in the following two photographs:

With small groups of trees I like to look at shapes of the trunks and how they interact. Pines, for example, tend to form regular rows with the occasional diagonal. Others might have a complimentary shape i.e. one trunk grows with a similar shape to one next to it. Alternatively some trunk shapes are like mirror images of one another:

Finally, the paths in the forest are always make good value for a composition or two:

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