52 Trees

52 trees – week twenty

Tree shadow, London Road, Newark on TrentI’m at the stage where I’m getting a little bit bored with this project, or at least, bare trees with no leaves.  However, we’re now getting a bit of sunshine and on Sunday it was bright enough to cast these wonderful shadows on the Georgian houses round the corner from us.  It makes a change from reflections.

I guess this is the danger time in a project, when you’re well enough into it to have lost the initial excitement and you begin to get the feeling you’re repeating yourself a little too often.  Time to up my game a bit, I think, and start thinking a little more laterally.

It does help to have a camera with you at all times.  I don’t usually, because mine’s far too big and heavy, but on this occasion I happened to have a little digital compact in my bag.  The quality’s not nearly so good but, as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you.  However, at long last it’s looking as if I might get a bright shiny new camera in the near future, and I’ve decided to go for the Sony a6000 which is going to be small and light enough to carry around with me most of the time.  I’m rather hoping it will give my photographic creativity a bit of a boost.

52 trees – week nineteen

Leaf tapestryOh how I long for colour!  Much as I’m enjoying the strong lines, shapes, and contrasts of black and white photography, colour is what I most love.  There’s little of it around at the moment, so when I saw these richly coloured autumn leaves floating at the edge of the lake, adding their vibrant tones to the darkness of the water, I was drawn right to them.

52 trees – week eighteen

Tree, Newark Castle gardensA return to ‘straight’ photography this week.  This magnificent tree grows within the shell of Newark Castle, which was turned into public gardens by the Victorians.  As usual at the moment not much colour around so a black and white conversion it is.

I’ve got a bit of thing about gardens inside the shells of old buildings.  My favourite place in London is St Dunstan’s Church, in the City, which is just that.  In the days when I visited London regularly it was one of my go-to places for photography, and I loved the contrast between the peaceful green leaves of the garden inside and the hurry and scurry of the city workers on the outside.  So, two for the price of one this week, as I’m feeling nostalgic.  (And also a nice reminder of summer)

St Dunstan's Church, City of London

52 trees – week seventeen

I love Venice too, even though I've spent very little time there. This is the side of Venice that holds me - the quiet, secret, timeless parts of it. Vanda, I've been enjoying your photography and your blog so much, particularly your

Look carefully at this one – these trees are reflected in very shallow water, and the dead leaves just underneath the water give it a textured effect.  It seems a little like a double-exposure to me, and I liked the idea of bringing earth, sky and water together in one image.

52 trees – week sixteen

Winter twilight with trees and birdsThere’s a melancholy air to this time of year that this picture seems to capture.  Taken at twilight, a flock of birds took off suddenly, and followed the line of the trees through the clear area of sky above them.  What I like best, though, is the small jet trail in the background – humans and birds, flying together.

52 Trees – week fourteen

Looking up - skeleton trees

A year ago I was loving winter’s skeleton trees and couldn’t get enough of them – this year, I’m longing for the soft greenness of the leaves to appear.  Last winter the starkness of the trees suited my mood – we’d just had a depressing Christmas and were heading into another year of Geoff’s search for work.  We’d had to borrow money from family to help pay the mortgage, and although I had some irons in the fire they weren’t yet producing anything.  I’m so glad we didn’t know then that he’d still be out of work a year later, or our gloom would have been even deeper.  As it was, he did get a short but well-paid temporary contract that helped us to keep going, I managed to develop enough of an income to make a difference, and somehow we survived the year.

For a while it was looking as if this Christmas would be even worse than last – all our savings were gone and we knew we couldn’t go on as we were.  But, as often happens, we had a sudden turnaround and Geoff starts a brand new job in February suddenly the future seems a lot brighter and we’re moving out of the limbo we’ve been living in for so long, and maybe that’s why the Gothic severity of the bare trees doesn’t appeal so much any more.  Looking up through them, however, it seemed to me they were reaching for the light just as we are – a little dim at the moment but knowing growth and abundance is on its way to us.

 

 

52 Trees – week thirteen

Winter sun through trees, Newark Cemetery

I’m finding it difficult at the moment to come up with much variety in these shots, especially as I was knocked out by a very nasty chest infection for about two weeks over the Christmas break and I haven’t been able to get out much.  I’m feeling the need for fresh inspiration – to go somewhere new, or at least somewhere different from my usual walk round the cemetery/lake – but the virus has left me feeling too tired for an outing right now.  However, I did like the way that this low winter sun peeked through the mass of skeleton trees in the cemetery.

 

52 Trees – week twelve

Winter tree with birdsAfter I made my Christmas tree post live, I realised I’d missed a week! – not sure how that happened.  This was the tree that should have gone on before the Christmas post.

I’ve always thought of myself as very much a colour photographer.  Colour is my passion – it excites and energises me.  What I used to find, though, was that my interest in photography would diminish to almost nothing in winter when there was little or no colour around, and I’d go for months hardly picking up my camera.  In the last year or two I’ve become much more interested in black and white photography, and while colour is still my thing, I’m beginning to enjoy playing with monochrome as well.  My winter photography has been revitalised by this, and even a grey day can offer exciting possibilities of line and pattern.

These birds in their winter tree have a bit of an oriental feel to me.  I love the fact that, although I’ve converted this image to black and white, it really didn’t change it much as there was very little colour there to begin with.  What I did do was boost the contrast up to give a cleaner, more graphic look to it.