Gallery: barking up the wrong tree?
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
I’m a big fan of tree bark. You have some amazing examples.
Thank you – good to meet another bark fan 🙂
I love the last picture – the tree of the future generation – a place to play. Such great examples of bark and what grows on them. All parts of the tree have so many uses. Beautiful post, Sarah.
Thank you Marsha 🙂 Our council has developed the very good habit of leaving trees they have to fell lying in the parks, sometimes cut into smaller pieces, sometimes left whole. Children climb on them and adults sit on them 😀
Those trees provide habitat to many. 🙂
Oh these are really cool photos Sarah.. I love this textures and great gradients. Nature has a way to surprise us in many ways.
Thank you 🙂 Yes, nature always has a surprise or two for us!
Loved the colors and textures. And I’m impressed that you know what all those trees are!
Thank you 🙂 But I certainly don’t know all of them! The silver birches are easy, and bamboo doesn’t look like anything else. The frankincense we saw all over Oman and had guides who showed us how the resin is extracted – fascinating 🙂
I love trees and can’t help blogging about them from time to time. I love how you’ve captured the colors and textures in the bark of all of your trees (and creatures!) Beautiful post.
Thanks so much Tracey, I’m glad you liked this 🙂 I love to photograph trees!
A great collection of shots and the Beast on the Common made me smile.
Thank you – glad to have raised a smile with that last shot 🙂
Terri Webster Schrandt
Great shots of all the details of trees, Sarah! The bark on that silver birch is beautiful! Hope you still have some trees left over for Sunday Stills this week (Under or over the trees)! I’ll have to check my archives for some tree closeups!
Ah, I didn’t know Sunday Stills was going to be trees, but it sounds like these images wouldn’t have quite fit the bill in any case! Thanks for the nice comment about my photos 🙂
Lichen itself is a very interesting combo – I thought originally that it would grow on trees that were in distress, but I find that isn’t always the case – they grow on healthy trees too. There is a science and art to identifying trees by their bark and growth pattern in the winter when you have no leaves to use as a guide.
Thanks Rosalie 🙂 It’s really quite surprising when you start to look closely at bark to realise how much it varies from species to species!
Great shots Sarah! If I did not know, I would not recognise some of the close-up shots as trees!
Haha, thanks for that – it’s exactly what I had in mind when I posted some of them 😀
oh wow what a fantastic collection you have curated for #TreeSquare – all of them are interesting, and many are just fabulous. This is a truly wonderful squares post, so happy you have joined us again
Wow, thanks for that enthusiastic comment Becky, and for proposing such a super theme! I will have more trees for you later this month as promised 😊🌳
Look forward to it 🙂
A wonderful collection of trees, Sarah. The soft green lichen is unusual.
Thanks so much Natalie 🙂 I agree about that pale green lichen – I just had to photograph it when I spotted it!
A fabulous collection of trees – I love the close ups – so much detail and texture in them. I am very fond of lichens, but my favourite here has to be that beautiful close up of the silver birch.
Thank you Jude 🙂 That silver birch tree is just around the corner from us and I love to see it – it has one of the prettiest barks I’ve seen, even in comparison to other silver birches!
You took a “tree” idea I was thinking about using (and probably still will at some point) and illustrated it so beautifully. I love that face carving and the dino made me smile.
I hope you do use it too – these close-up images of bark etc. are lovely to look at 🙂
I have one today, although not too close. 🙂
So I see – fascinating tree!
Manja Mexi Mexcessive
Oh my, that face! 😮 Spooky but magnificent! And I really like many others too, so artistic. The light is the real magician for real. Here in Italy it works wonders.
Oh yes, the light of Italy is wonderful! Thank you for the nice comment 🙂
A collection of tree shots that could only have come from your camera, your ‘eye’ is all you need to find the oddities in nature and here you found plenty. I think I liked the green lichen one best, the lichen is a very pleasing design and colour.
Thank you for that lovely comment Mari 😊 I like that lichen too, it’s such a pretty shade of green.
What a wonderful assortment of trees! I especially love the white birch and bamboo. 🙂
Thanks Susanne 🙂 I was in two minds whether the bamboo counted as a tree but I liked it so I put it in!
I always thought bamboo was a tree but what do I know?? 😉 Anyway, I liked how it turned out, especially the colors. 🙂
Perfect – that’s me vindicated 😀
I have set no definition on what ‘tree’ is, so very happy to see bamboo!
Interesting shots 😊
Thank you – also for the advice about the theme 🙂 I went with Ashe and I think it looks good!
That’s cool 👍😁