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Thread: Photographing woods

  1. #31
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Baltimore MD

    Re: Photographing woods

    All the above suggestions are excellent. I lived in a thick pine forest for several years and understand the difficulty of finding good compositions. What I did was observe and note scenes that show promise as you walk/drive/run/bike through your local area. Watch and wait for dramatic weather, clouds, fog, snow, frost, nightfall, sunrise/moonrise through the trees, flowers, mushrooms, and combinations of these things. Be persistent and work at it, disappointments will happen and then eventually you will start making good photos. I made a lot of mediocre negatives, and many excellent ones from my time there.

  2. #32
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Photographing woods

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    I keep looking for single focal points in my woods, but often the texture is too thick for any one thing to declare itself.

    I said this in another thread as a joke, but I mean it seriously, too: I look at the work of Eliot Porter. In 1991 or 1992, he collaborated with James Gleick on a words-and-pictures book called "Nature's Chaos" which hits this topic head-on. Much of Porter's work is of woods and underbrush that makes the texture the subject rather than some singular thing. It's pattern-as-subject, even when the pattern is random. This is certainly not a new concept in art.

    When I was looking through the book, I was turning around the familiar phrase "can't see the forest for the trees" into: "Can't see the trees for the forest." I don't think I know what it means, though.

    Rick "whose property includes about 3500 pine trees" Denney
    That's a decent book. It's like the science geeks link to Porter, as "In Wildness" is the literary link to Porter via Thoreau.

    Porter's summer world, which I suspect was a big part of his understanding of the woods and nature, was a very thickly wooded modest sized island. Literally. Great Spruce Head island (just north of North Haven ME) was the family getaway, and it's thick thick thick woods of limited size, but lots of biodiversity. Spend lots of time in those woods with no place to go, you start noticing the little details and colors like he did, rather than the grand vistas normally associated with landscape photography. Frequent repeated walks like Thoreau did also helped Thoreau in his time to notice the details in nature.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Northern Virginia

    Re: Photographing woods

    Quote Originally Posted by jp498 View Post
    That's a decent book. It's like the science geeks link to Porter, as "In Wildness" is the literary link to Porter via Thoreau.
    Hey, I just look at the pictures...

    (that was a joke.)

    "In Wildness," especially in its first edition (only edition?) was very well printed and each plate was varnished to bring out the colors. They'd do that better nowadays, but the care to render the photos favorably was obvious. Not so much with "Nature's Chaos", which is more workaday process color. You have to decide you will see past that. It's a demonstration of how to find compositions when there seems to be no subject--the subject becomes the lack of subject. It stretches me, but not far enough yet.

    Rick "who has seen Porter's dye transfer prints in person" Denney

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