In the last two years I’ve taken an interest in woodland and forest photography so I’m always looking for interesting locations. Bellever Forest in Dartmoor National Park is local to me and a popular place for photographers especially on a misty morning.
It’s a coniferous forest leased from the Duchy of Cornwall mostly with Sitka spruce and a small percentage of broadleaf trees. Unfortunately there has been lots of felling by the Forestry Commission for commercial timber. The plan is not to replant just spruces as it is now considered that due to climate change the Forests need to be diversified to make them more resilient. Greater thought will be given to wildlife and archaeology with a mix of new trees.
With all the tree felling I have been looking for new places and came across Sousons Forest. On this particular day the forecast was fog on Dartmoor so I headed there at dawn. On arrival the fog was so dense like pea soup and perfect conditions. As the sun rose the spread of light though the fog looked quite mystical. After taking several photos of the more obvious compositions in more open areas I found this scene but only just in time!
The clearing of broken branches, tree stumps on the ground were completely covered by verdant green velvety moss.
This quintessential colour of nature was a reminder of the life-giving power of trees and plants. I set up my camera on the tripod quickly aware of the dissipating fog.
I zoomed in and out with the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and found that 70mm focal was best. I particularly liked the fallen tree at an angle. I composed the shot taking into consideration the dark dense trees in the foreground on either side of the frame. I used ISO400 at f/8 reducing the exposure to 2.5 second in case of any slight intermittent movement of the branches.
Now there was a only a hint of fog enhanced by the light at the end of the tunnel of pine trees which looked absolutely amazing. I edited the image in adobe photoshop adding contrast to the foreground and softened the light to give more depth creating this dreamy atmospheric scene.
Wouldn’t you love to be standing where I was listening to the peaceful silence and taking in the beauty of the forest. It certainly filters out the chaos of the 21st Century for a few minutes!
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