Intimate Landscapes Winner • Scott Aspinall
White Butte Trails, Saskatchewan, Canada

It was a rainy day in Regina, Saskatchewan. I was off work so when the rain cleared off in the afternoon, I grabbed my camera bag and headed out to my favourite local spot, White Butte Trails. This area is a network of nature trails that take you through some dense and quite overgrown woodland. Having spent the last 2 years of my photography life frequenting this area close to home, I had come away with a few compelling images but I knew that there was more good images to be had here.

The light was soft as there was cloud cover, with the sun doing its best to poke through from time to time. This created a soft directional light, the type of light that I love taking advantage of in woodlands. I had an abstract in mind and I was trying to find a black and white image of a white tree against a backdrop of darker trees, but I was unsuccessful after about two hours of exploring. That was until I came across this scene, exactly what I was looking for. The white tree under soft directional light, while the trees in the backdrop were in shade. It was the compositional possibilities that drew me in initially, but it was the colour palette that kept me there tweaking my composition until I was able to strike the right harmony in the colours.

I tried a couple of compositions with a wider lens but it didn’t give the feeling I wanted, so I got out my telephoto lens and focused in the best parts of the tree out front. I opted for a shallow depth of field to really accentuate the tree in front, while at the same time 'removing' the compositional elements in the background and leaving the viewer to focus on the colours of the scene in the background.

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Lee Filters