I’ve always been fascinated by trees. I guess a lot of the captivation stems from (pardon the flimsy pun) the boldness of their varying shapes and they way in which they stand out from their surroundings. Unfortunately, as with most things that captivate me, this has resulted in rather a large collection of tree photos. Happily, however, this collection is as diverse as the world of trees itself.
In the winter months, when the foliage is pared back by the savagery of the season, I tend to shoot in black and white to record more of their structure, rather than their colour. Often, I will use a red, orange or yellow filter to increase contrast between the sky and the landscape. Red filters tend to give an eerie, white-ish tone to trees, whilst heavily darkening blue skies, which is a look I quite like. I sold my red filter over three years ago though, and have been plagued with issues using red filters in software for the past 18 months, so an orange software filter has been my go-to. Happily, I’ve caved in and decided I do need optical filters again, which should be here in the next couple of months.
Around spring and summer, I tend to shoot colour to bask in the full glory of the vivacious greens as they bound into the landscape, alongside the subtle pinks of cherry blossom and brash reds of maples. I also favour colour in the autumn to record the yellows and oranges that predominate; black and white seems a little wasted to me, unless it’s something quite special. I used to go doolally with the saturation and contrast sliders, but have toned this down in the past couple of years, as I’ve come to increasingly appreciate natural and well-balanced colour reproduction. Besides, I find the results I’m getting from my Olympus digital cameras, and shooting with Kodak Ektar 100 film, to be pleasantly saturated and contrasty.
So, there you have it: four monochromatic photographic renderings of trees, with a fifth one after this paragraph for good measure. There was even some nattering on about how I take pictures of trees! For the sake of completeness, there will be five, possibly even six, polychromatic photographic renderings of trees in two weeks time. Did I mention the bit about liking trees?