The National Arboretum at Westonbirt is a wonderful place to go for photography. It is home to 2,500 species of trees from all around the world, carefully set out in various gardens and manicured superbly. The most spectacular time of the year to visit is the autumn, late October, when the reds, yellows, oranges and browns of the foliage are at their most vibrant, colourful and plentiful. The arboretum is ranked as one of the finest places to see autumn colours in the United KIngdom.
This glorious Japanese Red Maple tree is one of my favourite spots in the gardens - and there being so many favourites, it is no mean feat to choose one in particular. I am always drawn to the wide symmetry of this tree, and the beautiful shades of orange in the foliage. This image was made in the late afternoon in relatively low light, and so the back-lighting from the setting sun added extra life to the scene. There is a clear view of the tree to be seen without the trunk of the larger tree in the foreground but I chose to include the latter, perhaps to add a strong anchor in order to draw the viewer's eye to the centre of the frame, as opposed to the brighter elements of the branches on each side. The tree was named "Star of the Show" in Sarah Howard's book, "A Year in the Life of Westonbirt", a description which seems very appropriate for it.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor