Buckle Street Woods

Geoff Moore Adventures in Landscape Photography on Sat 11 February 2017

  • Image Title: A little bit of Copper
  • Canon 7d Mark2 Camera used:
  • Canon 70-200mm F4 IS Lens used:
  • 200mm Focal length:
  • f/4.0 Aperture:
  • 1/90 Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:

This weekend's adventure visiting the Cotswold's in Gloucestershire in search of a winter wonderland.

Wintry conditions where abound with a developing mist and intermittent light snow made for calm and unique photographic opportunity under the canopy of trees. Several branches full of copper colour leaves still remained throughout the winter months, how much longer they will last I do not know.

Wandering around a winter's wood is very therapeutic! with the isolation from the everyday noise and troubles of daily life, it gives one, a chance to take stock and breathe. It also affords one the opportunity to re-engage with something natural, and honest. Despite snowing the air was deceptively still with little of no breeze, this allowed the snow to fall gently giving an even covering to bare branches on the trees and the ground underfoot. The sky above was blanket grey with little in the way of texture of shape, however this in it self was appreciated as flat overcast skies act as a natural soft-box when doing flower or woodland photography and provides a very even a flat light in which to use.

Photographing forests in the winter

With no one around for several miles the silence was almost deafening, If you have gotten used to living in a urban town, with the  typically noises like car alarms, emergency services sirens and people making their way to work. Your brain is constantly flooded noise and information for which it needs to either process or ignore, however, here in the woods, nothing, just the occasional drip of water thawing on the higher up branches splashing on contact with the frozen ground. and occasional  Wild Field Chicken (Pheasant) calling in the distance was all  that could be heard - bliss.

The Spliter
  • Image Title: The Spliter
  • Canon 7d Mark2 Camera used:
  • Tokina 11-20mm UWA Lens used:
  • 20mm Focal length:
  • f/2.8 Aperture:
  • 160 Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:

If you go down to the woods today... 

Progressing deeper and deeper in to the woods you can often find some unique surprises, one such surprise was the the broken and long dead tree isolated against the rest of the wood, its bark removed and a distinct serpentine pattern running up the remains of its splinter. Its form, condition and position made me question how and why it managed to find it self in this stunted state?  Perhaps it was diseased or struck by lightning, or perhaps it had a poor start in its life and whilst its siblings grew it was unable. Still, even in its current state it made for an interesting subject standing out from the crowd of tall slender tress.

You're sure of a big surprise.

As the morning drew out, the light hadn't really improved and thickening clouds had in turn reduced the available light bringing about a sense of foreboding and darkness. Having beaten a path off track, and with a little disorientation starting to creep in with both Mark and myself began to question which route we had taken into the woods and our present location and which direction would ultimately return us to the track and in turn the comfort and safety of the car. 

As we walked left and right, we approached a clearing, in an eerie silence reserved for the most chilling of horror movies; A child's giggle fading into the distance, a movement of shadow from the corner of your eye, the sudden hushing of bird song,  a single tree stood out from all the rest, stood in such torment guarding an unknown expanse of dense dark and blood chilling woodland in all directions, its curled and gnarled branches, reaching out for any unsuspecting soul that should walk within it s reach whilst its fine web of inner branches would catch any fleeing bird like a giant spiders web. 

This tortured tree caught our attention for several minutes providing to be an interesting subject, its shape had many angles to capture and impressive branches forming its size and stature meant that it must have been guarding this part of the woods for several decades, its maturity and and natural shape worked increasingly well in the fading light, providing much inspiration and experimentation with focal length story telling and post processing when back at home.

Tormented Tree
  • Image Title: Tormented Tree
  • Canon 7d Mark2 Camera used:
  • Tokina 11-20mm UWA Lens used:
  • 20mm Focal length:
  • f/2.8 Aperture:
  • 1/80 Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:

How to get here

Enter your starting location on the box provided under the map to see the route from your starting location to Buckle St, Cheltenham, GL54 5XU

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