The Challenge of Photographing Trees and Forests

Late afternoon sunlight touches a treetop in the Massif de Canigou, Pyrenees Orientales, France

Late afternoon sunlight touches a treetop in the Massif de Canigou, Pyrenees Orientales, France. View large on my portfolio site.

Photographing trees and forests – I always find this difficult. How to make any sense of the beautiful organic chaos without just re-creating something in a dull, or cliched way? How to express the feeling of being out in the woods to someone who doesn’t know the place you’ve been?

Photographing at altitude provides its own challenges – and where I am, harsh Mediterranean light creates high contrasts – darks and lights under the canopy. When finally, golden hour arrives, at sunrise or sunset, it doesn’t last long. Especially when the light dips behind a mountain peak or ridge.

This image was made at around 1000m altitude, on the lower slopes of the Pic de Canigou, early January 2021. As the sun moved west, and closer to the horizon, this lone trees top emerged from the shadows. Sometimes you just have to wait for the opportunity.

More trees. Winter forest on the Massif du Canigou,

Winter Forest, Pyrenees

Winter forest, on the Canigou, Pyrenees Orientales, France – fine art prints available

 

Dead tree, Cold dark forest, mist and fog

Dead Tree. Moody forest in the fog. Col de Mantet, Pyrenees Orientales, France – fine art prints available

 

 

Pyrenees Forest

The 2921 metre Pic du Carlit, seen from the Sentier de Fortifications, Bolquere, Pyrenees Orientales, France – fine art print available

 
 

Quercus ilex - Mediterranean Oak at dusk

Wild branches at dusk. Quercus ilex – Mediterranean Oak, winter sunset – order fine art print here


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