Face in the trunk

Face in the trunk

Self-portrait with a wind-swept beech tree one day of freezing gales last March high on Roundway Hill in Wiltshire.

I have had a number of requests to include my lensed tree photography and not just pinhole photos on my website. I really feel that aesthetically the two styles don’t mix well at all so I have created another blog parallel to this one containing only tree photography of all types. As time goes by I will be adding to it from my past and current collections. It can be found at http://texturedbark.blogspot.com

Silver birch with grasses

Birch with grasses

Over the Christmas period I had the opportunity to use for the first time the beautiful spalted hawthorn camera which was made for me by Mark Goddard. The light this day was soft but directional. The waving twigs made the dry grasses on the floor of the wood shimmer and glow.

Winter trees, rooks

Oaks and rookery

I always love the intricacy of oaks against the leaden winter sky and the primeval, elemental cawing of rooks at dusk. It really is one the great joys of winter; a simple, subtle pleasure which never seems to diminish.

Ladle Hill

Ladle Hill

Winter sunset from the top of Ladle Hill on the ridge of the North Wessex Downs, a line of chalk hills in the south of England. This is a spot which I used to frequent as a child and which has lost none of its magic, engendered in part by its location inside an unfinished Iron Age earthwork and in part by its relative isolation. Thomas Hardy says in his poem Wessex Heights:

“There are some heights in Wessex, shaped as if by a kindly hand
For thinking, dreaming, dying on, and at crises when I stand,
Say, on Ingpen Beacon eastward, or on Wylls-Neck westwardly,
I seem where I was before my birth, and after death may be.

In the lowlands I have no comrade, not even the lone man’s friend —
Her who suffereth long and is kind; accepts what he is too weak to mend:
Down there they are dubious and askance; there nobody thinks as I,
But mind-chains do not clank where one’s next neighbour is the sky.”

I hope some of this is captured in this pinhole photo.

Self with tree

Self with tree

Even as the September sun is shining, the morning chill today has my thoughts leading from autumn to winter. The wonderful sky is created by the vagaries of the pinhole process – though I’m still not sure how.