Photographing a tree, a complete tree, can be a challenge. Stand back to get it all in the frame and perhaps other trees may block your view, or the drama of the tree’s size be lost within the bigger picture. Sometimes you can capture its strength best by stepping closer and focusing on the details.
On a recent visit to Shropshire I decided to do just that, looking for pleasing shapes within the contours of the bark. And on my return home I trawled through my archives to find more such images, some from near home and some from further afield. Squared, they make the ideal offering for Becky’s July Squares theme.
Mainly in these shots I am exploring the texture of the bark and the way that the light falling on it creates patterns and even images within the image. But I’ve also thrown in a few oddities for fun!
I knew, of course, that trees and plants had roots, stems, bark, branches and foliage that reached up toward the light. But I was coming to realize that the real magician was light itself.Edward Steichen
The roots of one tree are entwined with the trunk of another in Cardingmill Valley, Shropshire
A fallen tree in Cardingmill Valley, Shropshire
An eye in the bark? Shropshire woodland
Silver birch – an Ealing street tree
The bark of another Ealing street tree after rain
Lichen glowing yellow on a tree in Walpole Park, Ealing
Elsewhere in the park the lichen is a soft green
The bark of this tree reminds me of rock formations in the dry canyon country of the US southwest, but it’s just around the corner in the same Ealing park
A tree washed up on the shore of Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula, WA
And more huge tree trunks at Rialto Beach, also on the Olympic Peninsula
White spots of resin oozing from a frankincense tree in Oman
Does bamboo count as a tree when it’s as tall as this? Taken in Arashiyama, Kyoto
And I promised you a few oddities:
A face in the trees – a wood carving in a Shropshire wood
Strange beasts appeared on Ealing Common during lockdown, spring 2020
The Ealing photos were taken between 2017 and 2020, and the Shropshire ones in 2021; I travelled to Japan in 2013, Washington State in 2017 and Oman in 2019