Six is a series of photographs taken successively over thirty minutes each image in this series is unique and visually striking. Rather than simple landscapes I intend each of these images to be viewed as ‘portraits’ of nature. I decided to use an old portrait lens with a focal length equivalent to 87mm. Each scene is a careful composition taken in an instant intending to highlight specific elements of a beautiful and diverse forest setting.
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How Were These Taken?
How Were These Taken?
I’ve read a comment in which somebody had a similar scene in front of themselves and was unable to do the scene justice. All of my photographs are manual exposures, this involves setting the shutter speed, ISO and aperture manually, in this case using an aperture ring. This provides me with maximum control over light, grain and depth of field displayed in each image. The ‘processing’ begins with the camera by using specific lenses and apertures to create specific effects in my photographs.
Digital photography is often misunderstood as relying heavily or often entirely on software to produce an image however, just as in the case of film photography a good quality negative results in a superior image. With digital photography, just like in the days of film, its important to take the time to meter, compose and expose correctly. While its possible to compensate for over or under exposed images using software, or while printing with an enlarger in a darkroom, a properly exposed negative will usually look better and save you hours in the darkroom or in front of a monitor.
November Mist was a carefully timed photograph taken at 2:27 in the afternoon, during mid November, when rays of sunlight penetrated this section of forest via a nearby clearing-creating beautiful highlights. Additionally, this location due to a nearby marsh retains a bright green hue throughout the year. The mist added a diffused the light creating the glow and highlighting the lime green shades throughout the photograph.
If you walk several meters into a dense forest you will promptly discover the trees carry on like pillars for kilometers eventually blocking your view entirely likewise, these columns dampen sound from all directions creating an often-eerie silence in a maize like atmosphere. I chose to emphasize this in the exposure by using a wider aperture and changing the point of focus from the middle ground to the foreground of the image. The forest in the background of the image is a much darker tone naturally, this tone is created by a lack of the moisture necessary to grow a thick layer of moss, the foreground being closer to the nearby pond and marsh retained more moisture and green hues.
I took this photograph at two-thirty-four and as is typical in a forest the lighting had changed from sunny to moody in under ten minutes. Low cloud cover had partially but not entirely blocked the sunlight and the trees had retained their vibrant mossy highlights. I adjusted my aperture ring to brighten my photo by two stops introducing a more shallow depth of field, I aimed to keep the middle ground in focus and accentuate the background mist.
There are thousands of hidden paths through a forest, in this case a small game trail passed between the trees. I was trying to show the mystery of these hidden paths and express just how difficult they can be to track for the human eye by leaving much of the forest floor just out of the shot and instead highlighting the maze-like gaps between the trees. The mist between and amongst the trees enhances the mystery of the scene.
The Great Beast
The tree at the center of this image seems to reach out to grasp the world on all sides with mossy-almost fingered branches, it could almost pass for a mythical monster but it also highlights the reality of forests and untouched wilderness in general. The reality being, the forest, despite not being a conscious being is-in essence one incredibly large ecological entity. Everything is co-dependent from the salmon swimming upstream or up river every five years to the deer, bear, trees and moss this co dependence can be simply illustrated as: The salmon swim up the stream in the fall to lay and fertilize eggs, the bear feed on the salmon traveling upstream catching them and consuming them in the forest, the resulting salmon carcass fertilizes the trees and plants nearby that the deer feed upon. This is the life cycle and it continues regardless of your presence, if one were to remain in the forest one would eventually become a part of it.
This photograph was not the result of a shortcut but rather an image of one. Returning to the theme of Hidden Ways, this shortcut is barely visible as a brown patch to the right of the tree trunk in the center bottom of the image. The shortcut is really only visible when your facing it directly its quickly obscured by small undergrowth when viewed at angles. This was the final image in the series and the last I took on November 15.
Well, this blog article began as a discussion on technique and a photo series and ended up describing ‘the life cycle’ and hidden footpaths, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Expect this blog to be updated every Wednesday on a weekly basis. If you have any suggestions about future content or questions about my articles, feel free to comment below I’m always happy to answer questions remember, there is no such thing as a ‘stupid question’.