I always get into my head that March is a spring month, but the truth is it can feel like a full extension of winter. The expectation that snow and ice has passed and cold short days are replaced by some warmth in the sun are somewhat optimistic and misplaced. As such, March can feel like one of those lean months, it’s neither winter or spring in truth, like the transition from summer to autumn in September, it can be a frustrating “waiting” month for photographers. It was for me again this year.

I’ve become more focussed towards delivering on some project commitments in 2015 and Fallen is one of those. It’s a series dedicated to bringing some thought to felled or dying trees in a small attempt to get people to think about the importance of forestry and our reliance on trees a lot more. This month’s feature image is one of those that forms part of the series, the imaginatively titled Fallen #6 was shot on a morning near the Queen’s estates in Sandringham, Norfolk, a particularly wonderful part of the UK landscape…

Fallen #6

Fallen #6

What Really Makes The Photograph Work For Me?

To my eye there is something incredibly human about this particular tree. It seems to have hair, two arms, it’s almost thrown backwards in contorted pain, wedged between its brothers in the forest, I wanted to reach out and bring its torment to an end. I guess I’ve been spending too much time in the wood, but there is a sense of painful reality here which I couldn’t ignore.

Here’s why Fallen #6 is image of the month:

  • The objective for photographs in this particular series is to not only tell a story individually but also as a collective of course. But I’ve set the objective that each photograph must be able to stand up and make an artistic contribution on its own. It turns out that is a heavy challenge, one that I’ve not altogether managed that successfully so far I think, but one here which seems to meet the particularly tough criteria I’ve set.
  • There is emotion in this image for me. Difficult to show when trees and plants are the subject if you ask me, but I think it’s evident here possibly because of that human connection in its very form. I think it translates anyway.
  • It’s a photograph with a very earthy colour palette, I just love the tones on show here and the fact that the trunks are decorated with different textures and colours from oranges and silvers to that deep burned umber of the tree front and centre. It suits the mood of what’s on show – no dazzling light here, just a subdued quiet that fits the moment.
  • I love the way the front centre tree leans a little to the left almost in protection of its fallen sibling. Perhaps too deep psychologically speaking for one or two eyes who will view this, but this is the level I see photographs like this and the point of putting some words down here about them occasionally so that others understand the thought and process I go through.
The Technical Setup
  • Taken with the Nikon D800E
  • Nikon 70-200mm f/4
  • f/11, ISO100, 1/6 in a foggy wood at 08:30hrs
  • Shot in 14bit RAW, manual white balance
  • Finished with Nik Color Efex Pro 4 and Adobe Photoshop CC
  • No sharpening