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The Tree

Like trees?
Photographers are a funny breed. We can become strangely obsessed with trees! Certain trees cry out to be photographed, whether it be for their colours, their shape, their location or their size.

I could see one such tree every time I travelled down the A41 between Shropshire and Chester to see the outlaws…I mean in laws. Sometimes I did not have my camera equipment with me, other times the weather conditions were not good, or the field was not looking its best.

On the 19th of June 2011 I took on the challenge to capture ‘the tree’. Weather looked very good, tick, I knew from a recent trip the crops would be young and still in their transformation from verdant green to golden brown and as an added bonus the tracks made by the farmer should provide good lead in lines to a shot.

I travelled the 20 or so miles to the field near Lilleshall, Shropshire. My only concern was how to get to location as I had only seen the tree from a busy road with a high bank down to it. Around 35mins later I was there, looking for a safe place to park. I decided to park in a lane nearby, perhaps a mile from my chosen spot.

I unloaded the kit from the car and set about walking to the tree. It was a suck it and see walk. I walked down the side of a handful of houses into a field and walked along the hedge over the rough mud churned up by the tractor tyres. I got to the edge of the field and was able to enter the next one via a gap in the dilapidated fencing. I walked through the next field and there was no easy way to get through, I started to think I will not be able to capture this tree even now!

Crown Jewels
In the end I found a lower section of fence and barbed wire and look my life in my hands by clambering over after first placing over my kit onto the other side. I was now in the field! I walked along the tractor tracks so as not to trample on the crops. I ventured towards the tree and spent a good hour looking for a good composition with the right lighting conditions. I set up a number of shots whilst waiting for the best light.

As the blazing sun started to set I decided on my optimum composition, unashamedly inspired by an image by Joe Cornish, a great inspiration to my own Landscape Photography.

Usual routine applied, camera on tripod with remote shutter connected, check camera settings and evaluate the frames exposure. I fitted the Lee Neutral Density Filters and took a test shot. I added my B&W Circular Polariser to bring out the contrast in what was looking like a great sky. This looked good!

I took a handful of images as the sun was setting using the tractor track as a lead in from the bottom left hand side of the frame. ‘My tree’ was placed roughly on the rule of thirds, beautifully side lit by the low sun.

To put the icing on the cake the clouds were superb in the evening sky. Skies can make or break a landscape image and are probably more of an obsession with me than trees! But that is another blog…!

Strafing Light
Before the sun dissappeared I tripped the shutter on an image where the clouds were beautifully placed and the subtle golden light strafed across the crops and against my tree. Another image safely in the bag.

Lonely Tree

Stiperstones Dawn
Heart of England Landscape Photography....