Trees really speak to me.
Well, obviously, not literally – I’m not quite that crazy yet – but I do find their presence compelling; sometimes brooding, sometimes imposing – as if pregnant with some ancient wisdom or ominous portent.
They feel like keepers of secrets we’ve long since forgotten.
Visually, as totems of the natural world, they’re also incredibly eloquent articulators of seasonal change, from the vivid green of a spring beech to the nakedness of a winter tree, revealed at its sculptural best.
Here are some attempts to capture that eloquence.
Taken in Hayle, in Cornwall, these palms blowing in a gust of wind, together with the switched-off promenade lights, embody all the wonderful pathos of a seaside resort out of season. Black-and-white was the only way to go to exaggerate the sensation.
This was taken in deepest Devon whilst I was on a writing course with the Arvon Foundation. One morning, I woke up early with my brain fizzing with writing ideas and couldn’t get back to sleep. Outside, dawn was breaking so I just got up instead and grabbed my camera. On the horizon, a magnificent mist was turning a yellowy-orange with the rising sun. These tree silhouettes were emerging from it, other-worldly and strange.
This image, exhibited and sold in The Shed’s ‘Albion’ exhibition in Lyme, London and Bristol, was taken at Abbotsbury on the Dorset coast. I loved the shape of the sky between the boughs; the absence as interesting as the presence.
There’s little to say about this image beyond the joy I felt taking it. I still remember the vividness of the green, the tallness of the trees and the brilliant blue of the sky.
I was driving through intense fog when the sight of these trees made me stop the car. Luckily I had my camera with me. I love how they loom in a row out of the fog with no sense of what lies beyond.
All these images can be purchased from The Shed Gallery.