My favourite type of photography is woodland photography. For me it is all about experiencing nature, finding and photographing beauty in woodlands, creating memories.
Beauty is of course subjective. Every person has a different perception of “beauty”. So what I like about a woodland image can be totally different for the viewer. All in all “beauty” is personal.
That personal experience of being there at the moment of capture is something a viewer can not experience when I only share the image. Telling that story is also the most difficult part. To my believe a body of work (a collection of images) can better tell the story of the photographer (his view on beauty) about a subject.
When I look at an image, even an old image I have captured some time ago, I do remember that specific moment of being there in nature. If a viewer likes an image or not, all depends on his or her interest and their own view on nature. The reality is that the photographer first has to publish his favourite photograph before another person eventually can see and possibly like it.
For me it is normal to come home with a lot of captures of only one or two woodland scenes. It all depends on the woodland itself, the weather conditions and my capability to find, compose and capture those beautiful woodland scenes.
When I look at other woodland photographers who publish their work on their websites and social media it is not different. On average I find mostly two different scenes to my liking during a photo walk. But only when I can view the captures of those scenes on a big screen I can determine if the compositions really are to my liking.
Last weekend (July the 16th) I hiked in the Vijlenerbos, one of my favourite woodlands. The weather conditions were not optimal so I really had no expectations of capturing a beautiful woodland scene.
After an hour or two of hiking, to my surprise I found an interesting scene at a location I normally pass by without stopping. I was attracted by the way the sunlight did hit that scene. The directional light created a lot of depth and made it inviting to take an image.
I stayed at the location for more than half an hour to capture different compositions of the scene in different lighting conditions. In this post I have included two compositions of the same scene, as well as a colour and a black and white version of each composition. My favourite is the featured image at the head of this post. There are minor differences between the compositions.
At first glance, it is a chaotic woodland scene. This though is a characteristic and challenging feature of this forest. In the colour versions I really like the contrast between the more cooler tones of the deciduous tree in the foreground and the warmer tones of the conifers in the background. This contrast prevents the eyes of the viewer from wandering out of the image. In both versions I did some dodging and burning to emphasize the depth in this scene.
What composition do you like the most? Do you prefer the colour or the black and white version?
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