Towards the back end of October I managed to get 90 minutes or so alone in Ashridge during what can only be described as a 'fog-fest'! As you know I'm partial to a bit of fog and mist and especially in woodland, it helps distinguish features and brings a sense of order to what can often be difficult vistas to distil.
Arriving at around sunrise I headed deep into the woods to an area I'd spotted on a previous casual walk a few days beforehand. Upon reaching my destination I spotted a group of deer, and a stag no less sitting around some trees, despite presumably seeing a fair amount of humans in this area these animals are very shy and despite my best attempts to remain un-noticed they soon sloped away into the dense woodland. Other than this brief encounter I was alone with the trees, the fog, and the cold...perfect!
I reflect on this morning as the peak of my local Autumnal explorations. Going into this time period I had thoughts of multiple mornings out exploring but reality always bites and I didn't get out as much as I would have liked. That said, the peace and tranquility of this morning in particular was very special. I find it's not just about the image making, it's a chance to start the day in a beautiful way, not far in miles from civilisation but far in mood. The images I make here are really for me to 'lock' in the feeling and atmosphere I experienced on the day, these types of images are very personal to me and it's probably a result of the freedom I have in using my photography primarily for personal reasons as opposed to any pre-determined or timeline driven commercial demands. To work under those conditions would surely illicit a different feeling, response and thus logically a different end result.
In the area I was exploring there is a huge tree that demanded some of my attention. Taking a successful image of something so tall and wide within a woodland is not exactly easy. Where do you position the trunk in the image? How much do you try and squeeze in towards the top, it's impossible to get it all in. With that in mind I centred the composition below and tried to use the foggy backdrop to let the rest of the woodland recede and bring forward the structure, size and reach of this impressive specimen:
See more images like this in my WOODLAND GALLERY