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The Nocturnal Forest

The forest landscape is notoriously difficult to photograph; trying to make compositional sense out of the chaos of trees and plants is a challenge. Often you will see forests shot in misty weather, which isolates foreground from background, in order to bring some sense of harmony out of the jumble of flora.

Instead of using misty conditions, I use chiaroscuro - the interplay between the deep shadow of nightfall and strong artificial light in order to isolate my subjects. The twiggy branches of trees really come alive when lit against the darkness. Very often subjects which, in daylight are easy to overlook, become fascinating forms in the torchlight.

The forest at night is a special place. One feels quite palpably that this is not our domain; it belongs to the deer, the owls, to the wild night.

My photographs explore this night world. Taking them is sometimes quite an intense experience; however rational one is during the day, at night, in a dark wood, your mind can run away with you. Often during the warmer months, just after sunset, the wind drops as the land cools faster than the air above. The forest becomes dead still. It is this atmosphere I hope to capture in my images, this unstirring quiet, full with anticipation of the unknown world beyond the light.