I’ve recently edited a new series of mysterious forest photos. I always take and edit dark mysterious forest photos, but these seemed to fit together so well that I’ve decided to make them available in a Halloween Forest pack on Creative Market. I like that marketplace because it gives me total control over what I upload and how I organize my photos.
It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, I guess I’m still trying to figure out what direction it should take. The Stocksy Top 5 of the Month is a section that gets a lot of attention and some of my best photos are available for licensing at Stocksy United, so I’m definitely going to continue this section, even though I’ll most likely be a little late, like this month, because we’re already pass the middle of April.
About 20 photos were added to my Stocksy collection of premium stock photography so it was really hard narrowing them down to only 5. I’ve chosen a bit of everything: strange night forest photography, symmetry on moody empty fields, surreal cave photography, misty spring morning landscapes and a strange forest detail. Here are my Top 5:
A bit late this month with the top 5 photos from Stocksy, but a lot is going on right now. Nevertheless, some great photos made their way to in February, some of which even got curated by Stocksy so here is my top 5:
I’ve written about photographing star trails and other types of landscapes at night before on this blog, but there is another type of night photography that I like and find really interesting – photographing deep in the woods at night, in total darkness. It’s a unique experience and I have to admit that I really feel the grandeur of nature when doing this.
This works best when the air is a bit hazy but there isn’t any thick fog. Going deeper into the woods on forest roads and then leaving it always feels a bit like the premise of a horror movie. It’s a totally different experience than in the daylight because a lot of the forest creatures are nocturnal. There are strange noises and little glowy eyes following you everywhere so imagination runs wild. Knowing that the “safety” of civilization is so far away and gets ever further makes for and interesting mix of emotions.
It was on one of these night hikes trough the forests of Transylvania that I made the photo “Apparition in Forest at Night”. As always, I was with my brother. We saw that the light from the flashlight is casting interesting shadows and tried to see how a lit silhouette would perform under such conditions. Like on all night photos I used a tripod and a wide angle lens. The problem here was that the light behind the silhouette was coming from a flashlight and was pretty low so the silhouette became blurry because of the tiny movements. I tried to keep the exposure as low as possible but still needed 50 seconds at f5,6 and ISO 400. Multiple tries later, the result was something surreal and dark that makes the mind wander. It could be a magical portal to another world, the materialization of a dark time, a ghost apparition or even an alien. It could also be a vision for the concept of spiritual enlightenment, time and space.
I caught this moment a few years ago. I got to the woods early in the morning and a deer herd kept appearing and disappearing trough the fog almost like it was watching me. I got a glimpse of them running and jumping trough the air as they appeared only as silhouettes in the magical glowy light. I saw them doing this a couple of times but they were too fast for me and the light was too dim to photograph the scene. After a few hours I was following a forest road and saw the herd standing in the middle of it. I had a short zoom lens on my camera and thought there is no way I can get the shot right. As I was approaching two of the deers started to run but one stood curiously in the middle of the road watching me. I kept taking pictures and approaching bit by bit until it ran away. I said it before – for me it’s almost like a supernatural moment when I cross paths with wild animals so I was really excited to see this scene and photograph this special moment.
I have also made it available on NatureStockPhotos.net for those of you who don’t have a Shutterstock account or don’t like the subscription model.
The latest batch of approved images on Stocksy focuses on the autumn and winter with some surreal, some ethereal images and a close up that’s almost abstract. Something for anyone. You can find many of my best shots on Stocksy United
Winter has a mysterious side matched by no other season. The fact that there are only a few hours of light might be a drawback, but for me this thing sets the right mood for the mind to imagine fantasy worlds that begin where the dark snowy woods begin, and where the roads become impassable for the vehicles.
I was out with my brother photographing the beauty of winter woods all day carefully timing everything so I wouldn’t get caught by the night as the plan was to get back to the car while the light was still enough, but just when I wanted to turn back it started snowing so I knew that I had to miss my schedule and stay a little longer. The snowflakes were falling heavily over the landscape so I took this chance and took as many photos as I could. In winter light falls fast so every minute the conditions were changing. It came to a point where I realized that it’s completely dark, so me and my brother started using our flashlights. The image of a man walking through the fog at night in the woods with snow flakes falling everywhere looked very theatrical, it was like we were seeing a movie so we had to capture this.
Using a wide angle lens and a tripod I opened aperture to f5,6 so I could have a shutter speed of 20 seconds and still have everything in focus. I used the flash multiple times to make the large snowflakes visible in the frame because otherwise they would not have been visible.
Like all the photos that remain in the mind of the viewer, this one has a special atmosphere. The man is wandering in the unknown. Anyone can make his own story out of it. Maybe the character is lost, or he is out seeking something in a haunted forest or it could even be that the silhouette belongs to a ghost or an alien. Imagination has no limit. I’m glad that a lot of people saw something in it too and made their own story.
The forest is an enchanted place filled with wonder and mystery. When fog descends on to the trees time seems to move at a different pace from the outside world. Every step takes the traveler deeper into the woods and closer to a mysterious, dark and surreal world, where everything is possible. One can almost see the mythological creatures sneaking trough the forest and watching him from behind the trees. This is the realm where the legends are born, where the line between reality and fantasy is erased and where imagination is running wild.
I’ve been exploring the wonders of the forest alongside my brother for as long as I can remember. “Mysterious Forests of Transylvania” is a fine art coffee table book that focuses on the mystery and atmosphere of the enchanted woods that we spent so many days in. We want to bring the magic of the forest for the whole world to see.
You can get it in hardcover or paperback format, 10×8 in, 25×20 cm, 48 Pages on Premium Matte paper, and you can also get a preview here: