I decide to head out with my DSLR camera to try to capture the death of a landscape.  In my last post I asked how can I photograph absence rather than presence?  How might I present emptiness?  But there is always a trace.  In destruction is a trace of a reality that was there – the hidden reality of the forest emerges, and we get a glimpse of what has been lost.  For example, the rising sap is withdrawn when the forest is standing, but in destruction it leaks from the fallen trees.  I am witnessing fracture of the landscape and a lot more – it has lost its contingency.  The loss is of the agency of the trees and the landscape, and in Heidegger’s terms the present at hand.

Having spent so much time among the trees, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of loss and grief.  The sap is weeping from the trees as they lie stacked in piles awaiting their final journey.

I think about the shots I want to take.  I want to take some record shots to document the change in the landscape.  I consider whether re-photography might offer an option, but it is difficult to imagine where each tree stood.  While there are certain way marks, such as the loch and paths through ditches that I can recognise, it is difficult to get accurate bearings such is the extent of the devastation.

I decide to focus on capturing the trees that remain, in particular, a stand close to the loch, but there are others too.  I work on multiple exposure images with the intention of giving the trees an almost ghostly aesthetic.  In doing this, I also give some context of the place in which the lonely trees stand.  This is something I do not normally do as I like to focus on being among trees rather than showing where they are located.

Fracture 18 – Alison Price, January 2021

Fracture 19 – Alison Price, January 2021

Fracture 20 – Alison Price, January 2021

I spend my remaining time taking some details of the log piles – the damaged bark, the lichen clinging to the felled trees and the trunks wrenched from the ground by the logging machinery.

Fracture 21 – Alison Price, January 2021

Fracture 22 – Alison Price, January 2021

Fracture 23 – Alison Price, January 2021

On my return to the studio, I decide to convert some of my images to black and white – somehow it seemed appropriate.


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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