All images © Stan Navratil

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Post # 5: Finding the order within chaos - continued

“..good philosophers prune the chaos of reality and train it into fixed shapes”..
 John Fowles  Tree  1983  
There are the situations where the landscape type  image inside a forest stand  is not pleasing.  There is much overlapping of variable size trees and shrubs and confusing tangles of branches . 
Two approaches  can be effective.

 In the first I embrace  the chaos and submerge my mind in the beauty of the ugliness. I may even seek mysterious scenes.

 I still shoot  wide angle images, accepting the intricacies of nature.  I may subtly think of composition but I do not let it interfere with my enjoyment of the mystery and magic of the natural web . 
 In the end in deference to my instinctive photography mind I am forced  to give the image some resemblance of structural composition ( third and fourth image).  
Using the second approach, I try to distill the scene by locating an interesting element, or elements,  and concentrating on it. 
 I may change to a long focus lens and make the selected element the centre of attention in the composition  (fifth image).

This approach is often used  as an alternative  to scenic images and is termed ‘intimate landscapes’. It is an useful tool  in forest photography  for improving the visual effect of images from seemingly  unattractive forest stands.    

In the sixth image  I needed to show the impact of bark beetle infestation and devastated conditions of the stands, a rather unsightly scene. I opted to emphasize the crisscrossed fallen trees as a element of the composition and to benefit from the late evening light - adding  bluish hue to fallen trees and background sunset colors.
Scenic , intimate landscapes , hidden landscape, microlandscapes - the semantics  is not so important as the power of observation to find and isolate interesting elements and  to portray them  in   true and attractive interpretation.

Walker Island Forest, Bella Coola 
Wet Coastal Forest. Coastal Western Hemlock Zone.

Sasquatch Provincial Park, BC.
Wet Coastal Forest. Coastal Western Hemlock Zone.

The curved branch and other moss covered branches form the frontal, vertical  plane , a powerful element in composition.  Sasquatch Provincial Park, BC.
Wet Coastal Forest. Coastal Western Hemlock Zone.

Intersecting lines of  the branches and of the fallen tree create an effective image of the dense low forest stratum.
Wet Coastal Forests, Coastal Western Hemlock Zone. Bella Coola, BC

Interesting element emphasized by framing it between western redcedar trunks.
Walker Forest,  Bella Coola, BC
Wet Coastal Forest, Coastal Western Hemlock Zone.
Lodgepole pine stand devastated by bark beetle infestation and by wind damage.
Subalpine Interior Forests, Montane Spruce Zone, Kloakut Lake, Chilcotin, BC.


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