Licence to explore – Complexity of the calm

Wind rustles through the trees; the branches creek with the break of day and the sound of the birds singing as they rise with the sun; that calming breeze; that cold feeling; the chill across your face and the complexity of vision can be an assault on the senses. A complex habitat with creatures big and small, flying; scurrying; running; walking. It can be an insight into a self contained world; a simpler world. It can be a complicated place for any visitor, equally it can be one of the most uniform places to explore.
A Forest.

Heading inland is something that I remember doing as a child. The early summer mornings exploring Rendlesham Forest, trying to stalk deer before dawn is a vivd memory I have. More often than not the chance to explore nature and photograph the world we live in will take me towards the coast.  I have found it easy to get up and head to our shoreline, it gives multiple compositional opportunities. In comparison, the complexity of the forest can often make it harder to seek out those moments. We are very lucky in Suffolk that we have both a long coastline, and a number of wooded areas.

A forest can be calming, especially when you have woken up early. In my intro, I suppose I have tried to bring together some of the thoughts I have when I enter a forest. When it comes to photography it can be one of the most complex places to photograph, unlike the coast where the compositions come easy, even just getting close to the waves. I have been able to take photographs in forests many times in the past year, I find myself exploring the forest in a way that maybe changes the pace of my photography. While near the coast it can be about racing against the rising tide, the changing skies and the breaking of dawn. I have found the forest has become a point of reflection. I didn’t find it easy to capture images in the forest on my most recent visit. The visuals of a forest can be some of the most complex, but also can be one of the most organised. I’m always out to take a least one photo that I can be proud of.

My most recent trip took me to Tunstall. Jamie and I went with the hope of frost, which unluckily didn’t materialise. It was a dawn trip. We got there in good time and were ready to capture the forest as the sun rose. About a year ago we went and caught the sunrise and a frost that completely covered the forest floor, and shrubs.

I didn’t find it as easy, although it has realigned the feeling that I should take a bit more time over photography. The process of photography can be one that clears my mind. I suppose it is the fact of being outside, but I also have the chance to take my time and be creative in my own way. We were there for the sunrise, looking for those shots with the sun through the trees, with the mist rising and even capture the wildlife around the forest. We were lucky enough to see a young deer, and hear other wildlife on our way around.

Anyway here is a few of the better compositions I took that day.





If only I would have waited a week, the ‘beast from the east’ hit and the forest would maybe have given more opportunities for a special shot. Best not to dwell on what could have been and hope for more opportunities to capture the county in a different way again.

If you would like to keep up to date with any of these trips I have been using Instagram Stories to capture the process with a few posts as we explore the location. All of these photos are available as prints, if you would like to buy any then please do contact me and I can organise a printed copy of them.

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