This is the website of image maker/photographer (ex-illustrator) Jasper Goodall. If you came looking for pop illustration, apologies - that was me, but I no longer make that kind of work! I haven’t left image making entirely - be sure to check out Augury Woods for something closer to illustration but just… a bit different.

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The Nocturnal Forest

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. The Forest is sometimes used as an analogy for the unconscious mind; whereas the village is well lit and familiar, the forest is unknown, easy to become lost in. This analogy becomes even stronger at night when one cannot see beyond the limited reach of the torch beam. Much is unknown, forms are only revealed as they draw near and become illuminated, rationality is weakened, opening your mind to old fears of the dark, of not being able to see what lies beyond the light of the fire.

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 time when the deer and the owl are most active, either heard as haunting calls or seen as glowing eyes in the dark trees. It is this atmosphere I hope to capture in my images, this un-stirring quiet, full with anticipation of the unknown world beyond the light.

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; the fog helps to isolate foreground from background and bring some sense of form 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 falling on the trees. The twiggy branches really come alive when lit against the darkness. Very often subjects which in daylight are easy to overlook, become fascinating forms in the torchlight.