During the Covid spring, like so many others, I found myself struggling with the reality of not being able to travel, being confined to our homes for days at a time and not being able to photograph the new and exotic scenes as we had once hoped when planning a spring photography trip. So we, as landscape photographers, adapted and started looking for local images. This photograph was the result of staying local and finding spring beauty in the familiar landscape we so often overlook.
So I started at a local state park, remaining socially distant and wandering through the forest until I found a spring scene. I found my patch of Virginia Bluebells, assured the park ranger I would be out of the forest before dark and set forth looking for a composition. I wanted to include a strong subject set among the bluebells, but I didn't feel that the standing trees were up to the challenge. Too tall and too far apart to compose meaningfully. Downed trees, however, were perfect for the foreground element I was looking for. Long lines, exaggerated by the wide-angle lens, pull you into the scene, and the textured interplay of the partially decomposing bark and soft moss was precisely what I was after in this picture.
I set up with the lens near the fallen trees pointed slightly downward to exaggerate the foreground and minimize the sky in the background. Bright highlights from the sky would distract from the scene below. I fired off a few frames as I was bracketing and focus-stacking.
Happy with my composition and with the light fading, I decided to pack it up and head home for the evening. A few hours in the forest and a spring bloom – the perfect medicine for the quarantine blues.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor