Another early start and I found myself alone in the woods at Ashridge. It's a large area of woodland in Hertfordshire and even in more sociable hours you can find plenty of quiet spots for a nice peaceful walk. I arrived at around 6.45am (15 mins before sunset) - I'd really been hoping for some early morning mist so that I could get a nice lonely, atmospheric shot of the textured solidity of the trees surrounded by the maliable softness of a morning mist. However, no such joy on this occasion (despite following the weather forecasts religiously!).
There was a wonderful silence broken only by the crunch of my shoes on the fallen leaves, upon approaching my preferred shooting spot I caught sight of 5 deer gently moving through the woods. Although I stopped in my tracks they'd clearly spotted me and before I could even contemplate reaching for my camera they had drifted off into the endless maze of trees.
I find it a challenge to find any coherent compositions in woodland sometimes (can't see the wood for the trees!), although our own field of vision can make it look ordered the 'eye' of the camera sees differently and great care is needed to find a visual route for the viewer in the image. Just a bank of trees can be lacking in depth and provides a visual barrier to the eye as it tries to wander through the image. By using the fallen branch in the image above I'm trying to help lead the eye through the scene into the dense woodland beyond, there is something of a straight path that leads on from the branch and into the seemingly never ending woodland realm beyond. I did make one other image here that I was really happy with but I'm keeping that hidden for now as it's going to compliment another release I'll be making on the completion of Project 32.
Aside from the 5 deer (and 100+ squirrels!) I only saw 1 jogger in my 60 minutes at Ashridge, it was indeed a very peaceful way to start the day...
To see all the images in #Project 32 please click here