Man on the Edge of the forest

Man on the edge of forest at sunset
Man on the edge of the forest trough fog at sunset

I’ve always found interesting how different people see different things in a photo. Some look at the photo above and see a man walking out of a forest, some see the man entering the forest, a person with imagination could say that this is an apparition of a ghost in a surreal forest. A sad person could say that the man in the picture is walking sadly at sunset. An insecure person could say that it’s a photo of a man lost in the woods. A single image can be interpreted differently by different people.

The way we perceive reality differs, so our interpretation of art differs too. I think art is the interpretation of reality through the mind of the artist. But the result is also  subject to interpretation. So everybody takes from art what they need at a certain moment in time and space.

Summer rain

Summer rain in evening
Summer rain in sunset light

I’ve seen the setting sun shining trough the rain this evening, and I remembered about this photo. Sometimes the most interesting moments and unplanned. I was returning after a journey I made to photograph a cave (more on cave photography in the future I hope), and the day didn’t turn so well. It started raining, I had a long drive and the rain was just pouring down and it was really tiring to keep driving.

I decided to pull over to rest and see the landscape. I got off from the car and only took a few steps and the sun started shining trough the clouds and back-lighting the rain drops. I ran around like crazy trying to find something nice to highlight this beautiful phenomenon and found a tree on the meadow.

I had my 90mm lens with me, and it prove to be enough to frame this shot. I used a wide aperture (f2.8) to be able to have a fast shutter speed (1/200) to “freeze” the raindrops. Seeing them backlit by the sun always seems special to me even when I am just observing and I don’t have my camera with me, so I am really glad that I got this shot. It really seems magical to me.

Man and Nature

Silhouette of man in mysterious frest with fog on Halloween
Silhouette of man in mysterious forest with fog on Halloween

Taking a look trough my portfolio, I notice that a lot of the photos that are best sellers have just a glimpse of the human form. People are rarely present in my photos, and when they are they are just small silhouettes part of a much bigger picture of a bigger landscape. I think I do this to give a sense of size in my photos, but also to put the human form in contrast with the vastness of nature, the grandeur of it all.

Take for example the photo above. The silhouette of the man is much further from the tree, so I played a bit with proportions, but this helps give a sense of how big the forest really is. Plus it is a nice subject, visible but with no details, and left for the imagination to think about what it really is. Being just a lonely silhouette it makes the photo more powerful and one can almost feel the cold of the night approaching in late autumn. The mysterious atmosphere that the fog gives certainly helps a lot, and it seems like the character is walking in a fantasy enchanted forest. The day I took this photo was really cold and it was drizzling. I didn’t have a lot of time because everything was getting wet and the light was falling fast, but I used my trusty wide angle lens and a tripod and told my brother to go in the distance so I have a silhouette in the frame. I don’t usually like staged shots, and this is about as far as I go with them, but I think here it was important to have the small silhouette in the frame. The contrasting fallen leaves give a nice touch to a late autumn photo. Looking at the final result, I really think I managed to capture the atmosphere and coldness of that evening, and people who have not been there and see the photos tell me the same, so I have achieved what I wanted.

Late autumn morning

Late autumn morning with fog trough hills
Late autumn morning with fog trough hills

In late autumn the the difference in temperature leads to the formation of fog low in the valleys. This can create some really good conditions for landscapes early in the morning. I remember that when I took this photo it was a really cold autumn morning. The leaves of the trees had already fallen. The hills and meadows were shrouded in a layer of mist. Just minutes before the sun started to rise, I realized that the way the hills are oriented combined with the light from the rising sun will create something special, so I prepared my gear and decided to wait there. Minutes later the whole scene started to change and the fog trough the hills started to light up. The first rays from the sun lighted the fog that was present trough the hills and it made it look like it was emitting light and radiating a strange beautiful glow. The tree from the foreground of the photo gives a hint of just how big the whole landscape really is.

Such landscapes are timeless. Seeing them you get transposed hundred of years ago back to the medieval age, where stories of fantasy lands were created and legends were born. I guess it’s this kind of timelessness that I search for when I go out shooting. Looking at this photo you can’t really put a time stamp on it. It could be made yesterday or hundred of years ago.

You can license the image here: