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Duck
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Post your WOODLAND images here

Post by Duck » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:31 pm

In a previous thread I posted about a certain reservoir in my home town. Elsewhere others have posted a variety of wooded images they've taken on their trips. This got me to thinking about my long suffering frustration with trying to capture my experience with my boyhood playground. Here is a blog post I wrote on the subject. Feel free to add your images and experiences here.


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Tall pines line a hiking path on the North side of the lake.
My first camera I ever owned was a Pentax K-1000. One of the best no nonsense film cameras ever produced that didn't kill your budget. I was a teenager then so money was tight. My favorite film to run through that camera was Kodak Tri-X black and white film that I developed myself in the bathroom sink. There was a great sense of accomplishment when that developed roll of film came off the spool to reveal all my hard won exposures. Then the long awaited anticipation as the film was sent out for printing.

That camera traveled with me on may hikes through the woods. A run off stream from the local reservoir ran along the property line of our back yard, providing a few miles of woodlands, a stream bed and plenty of solitude. It was my zen place. The world around me disappeared when I went into those woods.

It was always my goal, back in those early film days, to try to capture the magic I felt amidst the dappled light of the leaves and the slick wet stones of the stream. A goal that always seemed out of reach.

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Photography was difficult for me to master to any point of consistency. There was a lot of trial and error and a lot of note taking too that never seemed to help as I could never replicate the situation I captured a month earlier. Once I did conquer exposure my thoughts of capturing those woods were dashed by the reality that every time I took a photo of that magical scene, the photo never lived up to the reality. My shots of the woods always came out boring, lifeless and convoluted with texture.

Trees have a natural ability to drown out the noise of the world and replace it with the sounds of nature. Photos can't quite capture that magic in a photo. Walking through woods affects all your senses, not just your eyes. There is a certain smell as well as that particular sound too. The musty leaves on the ground, the rich soil or the swampy areas all add to that sensation. Unless you've experienced it, you can't get that from a photo.

I am still enthralled by a wooded landscape. Hiking among the dense New England trees, a deep soft bed of leaves on the ground, instantly transports me to a quiet place in my mind. Today it's with a digital camera and even though I know a whole lot more about photography than I did as a teenager, I still find myself unable to capture that magic feeling. Not for a lack of trying.

Somehow I doubt I will ever be satisfied with any image I make on my travels through the woods. At least not ones that would match my feelings. I know, I've tried, and I'll continue trying. Maybe some day.

I'll leave you with this final shot (from my previous post), a landscape of my favorite boyhood haunt, the Shelton Lakes reservoir.

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Post by LindaShorey » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:00 pm

Duck, your eloquent essay instantly transported me to autumns in Maine! Though my childhood memories are more about summers on a lake, I do remember playing in piles of dried leaves, their unique smell and crunchy sounds. More recent memories are of walking old logging roads hoping to see a moose :)

Here is a shot from last fall, taken on the dry side of the Cascades. From my somewhat limited travels around Washington State, this is the closest look and feeling to autumn in Maine I have found.

Thanks for this wonderful topic!
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Post by minniev » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:23 pm

A wonderful thread Duck.

I was enchanted with the woodlands of Scotland, which I knew nothing of. I was surprised to find they still have ancient trees. These images were shot in the village of Killin, an off-the-tourist-trail location where a walk in the woods may take you to the unadvertised ruins of a castle, a where a walk in the woods may bring you to the ruins of a 500 year old castle, or a 5000 year old stone circle.

Of course I'm an inveterate tree hugger, and have subjected the group to many of my local images of the woodlands I visit most, my swamps. And I am sure I'll continue to do that as soon as I get where I can.
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Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:39 am

Well, I've been slobbering over this one. Daphne loved fields and forests and rocks. We would be coming up on our 47th anniversary had she lived, on October 29. Every year we tried to have an "anniversary camp," at least sometime in October. It was cool and colorful and if we'd had a hard freeze or two then there would be no bugs. This picture was made at what turned out to be our last anniversary camp, 2014 at Grant River Wisconsin where it enters the Mississippi (on the left in the picture). Daphne hated to have her picture made so I ended up making a lot of pictures of her walking away. That's her in the left mid ground. I find now a lot of those walking-away pictures seem almost prescient. But we had a good run.
ImageOn the Mississippi by Charles Haacker, on Flickr
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Post by Matt Quinn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:47 am

Charles Haacker wrote:Well, I've been slobbering over this one. Daphne loved fields and forests and rocks. We would be coming up on our 47th anniversary had she lived, on October 29. Every year we tried to have an "anniversary camp," at least sometime in October. It was cool and colorful and if we'd had a hard freeze or two then there would be no bugs. This picture was made at what turned out to be our last anniversary camp, 2014 at Grant River Wisconsin where it enters the Mississippi (on the left in the picture). Daphne hated to have her picture made so I ended up making a lot of pictures of her walking away. That's her in the left mid ground. I find now a lot of those walking-away pictures seem almost prescient. But we had a good run.
ImageOn the Mississippi by Charles Haacker, on Flickr


Chuck, Very tender and touching photo. Good you have it. You are courageous to share it. Thank you.

Here's a photo of the Shenandoah River in spring that I took from its banks along route 7 in Virginia. We lived about half an hour away for 15 years; my wife would pass this river twice a day, going to and coming from her teaching job at the university. The view calmed her on her way, to the benefit of her students, and calmed her on the way home, much to my delight. We will be 50 years married next June. Rivers work wonders. Matt
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Post by Duck » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:23 am

LindaShorey wrote:[...] this is the closest look and feeling to autumn in Maine I have found. [...]

I absolutely LOVE the color interplay in this image. Specially the blues peeking through. Great shot.
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Post by Duck » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:28 am

minniev wrote:[...] I was enchanted with the woodlands of Scotland, which I knew nothing of. [...]

Primordial forests are the best. A second close are primordial jungles. I had the pleasure of walking through some jungles in Nicaragua. A different world altogether.
Thanks for sharing. I think the second image is my favorite. It's the winding path that does it for me.
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Post by Duck » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:32 am

Charles Haacker wrote:[...] Daphne loved fields and forests and rocks. We would be coming up on our 47th anniversary had she lived, on October 29. [...]

Bittersweet memories, but at least we have them. Those memories are what make images like these so much more powerful. Thanks for sharing that special memory with us.
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Post by Duck » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:34 am

Matt Quinn wrote:[...] Rivers work wonders.

I could kill a full day on a riverbank and not feel an ounce of guilt for it.
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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:17 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:Chuck, Very tender and touching photo. Good you have it. You are courageous to share it. Thank you.

Here's a photo of the Shenandoah River in spring that I took from its banks along route 7 in Virginia. We lived about half an hour away for 15 years; my wife would pass this river twice a day, going to and coming from her teaching job at the university. The view calmed her on her way, to the benefit of her students, and calmed her on the way home, much to my delight. We will be 50 years married next June. Rivers work wonders.
Thank you, Matt, and I love that BACK LIGHT!! Especially the slight wraparound flare from the sun reflections on the water! :thumbup:
Duck wrote:Bittersweet memories, but at least we have them. Those memories are what make images like these so much more powerful. Thanks for sharing that special memory with us.
Thanks for your kind words, Duck. :|
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