Wasatch Mountains, Utah
2015 is slowly coming to a close and with the end of each year, I enjoy reflecting back on the year’s images. I hope to have roughly 10 images chosen as my “best of” by the end of December. It’s a long process and can be quite difficult to choose just a handful, but it’s always great to look back on. I’ll be sharing individual images that are candidates with a some insight on my choices. I’ll begin this with this seemingly simple image of an aspen forest.
There is more to this image than a simple aspen forest though. I spend hours upon hours walking through aspens and recently noticed a unique light that I’ve not seen in images before. At certain times of the day, direct sunlight reflects off the white bark of the trees and illuminates nearby aspens. In this image, I am facing the sun and many of the leaves in the background are highlighted with some sunlight making its way into the forest. The tree in the middle appears to glow as a result of this indirect light.
After noticing this type of light, the search began for a composition to showcase this. Because this light is a result of aspens being at different distances from the viewer, creating depth was important in the image. Too much depth of field and the image becomes flat and 2 dimensional, which forests aren’t. Too shallow a depth of field and the feeling of being in the forest goes away. Exposure is also challenging because many of these scenes are too dark or the highlighted areas are much too bright. Add to that finding a nice arrangement of vertical lines and you can see how this becomes quite challenging.
If you’re viewing this on your phone, look again once you’re home on a larger screen. Once home, have a look at the larger image and step back from the screen for a moment. If this brings you into the forest for a moment, my goal is accomplished. Being there really is as peaceful as you imagine. For anyone looking too closely at this image, you’ll find the one thing in this image that I dislike. Unless your initials are “MA” then I find it distracting and potentially keeping this one from seeing life on a wall. Regardless, it is the best example I’ve photographed this year of this unique light.
More to come over the next 2 months:) Thank you all for reading.