I am not happy with the images I have taken recently in what is left of the forest, however I feel that high key work might serve to give a sense of the desolation and vulnerability of the remaining trees.  I had hoped to capture absence of what has been removed and the presence of the new reality of the landscape.   The high key images I produced hitherto have been done in post-processing.  However, I prefer to be authentic in my work and capture the reality of the scene at the point of capture and so I need to sharpen my high key skills such that the work is done in camera rather than by producing a memory post hoc.

I return to the forest with a plan in my journal. The pages are still wet from my last trip before storms Malek and Corrie hit.  I note down the following as an aide memoire for shooting high key images:  wide aperture; shutter speed sufficient to capture the movement; sharp focus on the subject of the image and use the ISO setting to achieve over-exposure of three stops.

Notwithstanding the weather forecast, the shoreline seems calm, although I notice that one of the solitary trees across the headland looks a little unstable.  As I walk through the log piles the wind strengthens and when I move into open landscape it hits me with its full force.  Now I realise why the lone tree is bending at a precarious angle.

As I set up the tripod my hat flies off and lands in the nearby quarry.   It is all I can do to hold onto my tripod and camera.  I notice that a small tree has sheered across the widest part of its trunk and the debris has blown across the track.

Fracture 60 – Alison Price, February 2022

Fracture 61 – Alison Price, February 2022

I am forced to work quickly as I am concerned about the stability of the trees and the likelihood that the wind might sweep me off my feet.  I contemplate whether to continue into the area in which I had intended to work, where there are larger trees but decide that the weather and conditions are simply too dangerous for me to continue.  I am very disappointed as I had worked out in my mind the technical settings I would need and the locations where I would get the images I had in my head.  I clamber over the quarry rubble to retrieve my hat and ensure that all the kit is securely returned to my bag.

I return home and have a look at the images I produced, and the technique appears to have delivered the aesthetic I wanted.  I am desperate to return to the forest and after gazing out of the window willing the weather to improve, I decide to try again.  I also decide not to take my hat or tripod to give myself maximum flexibility in terms of viewpoints and carry less that can be blown away!  As I walk beyond the site of my previous shoot, I realise that the two storms over the weekend had felled a number of trees.

Fracture 62 – Alison Price, February 2022

Fracture 63 – Alison Price, February 2022

My path is blocked, and it is a scene of devastation on top of the previous demise of many trees a few weeks’ earlier.  As I pick my way through the debris, the larger trees are looking vulnerable and precarious without their previous neighbours to provide protection and support.   I move quickly past.    As I turn onto the track by the beach, I realise that my path is blocked by another fallen tree.

Fracture 64 – Alison Price, February 2022

Fracture 65 – Alison Price, 2022

Fracture 66 – Alison Price, February 2022

Fracture 67 – Alison Price, February 2022

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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