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Photographing a Female Tree

Mother Nature is just amazing - but have you ever met her in person?

In March this year, as we got the first week of Covid-19 lockdown here in Austria, I was out for a little location scouting tour in the woodland close to my house and found an amazing tree. As I uploaded the video I got lots of comments and messages, that the tree were female. Have I found Mother Nature out there?

I decided to come back in autumn when the conditions would allow to get an outstanding photograph. Unfortunately my alarm clock didn't work proper and I arrived at location as the fog was already gone.

It is a difficult place for getting fog, because there is always a little bit auf wind over the nights through this valley and wind is poison for getting fog.

I love this photograph from the compositional side. It offers contrast, simplicity, flow and shows the subject - the tree - in a way, that we really feel to look at an attractive woman with golden hair - the foliage in autumn colours. Through the subtle backlight from the top we get the background trees in the shadow and the subject gently illuminated, what builds a fantastic contrast and supports the isolation.

In the video I mentioned, that the composition is not perfect - they are never perfect :) But what I meant in this case was: I didn't like the fallen horizontal branches at the ground, left beside the tree in the background. Meanwhile I think they even support the composition, as they keep a bit of the chaos in the scene, what we expect to have in woodland.

When I was out to take this photo, I saw it as a test shot, because I didn't have the foggy conditions which I planned. But I think, that even these conditions work not all too bad, it conveys the mood of - Mother Nature standing out in the forest in the morning. Anyway, I plan to go back there when we should get foggy conditions. As the amount of leaves changes in autumn and the colours are just for short time exactly as I'd like them - I fear, that it could maybe take some years to get the right conditions again. We will see :)

This is the original composition I worked on already in March this year. It lets the tree appear in a way without all too much life in it - it looks more like a dead tree from this angle and tells a totally different story - although this camera position was only a few meters from the first one.

This photo definitely needs fog to get a better isolation to the background and also to get rid of the brighter part in the top, where we see parts of the sky. This part is distracting - we always look there and then out of the frame. A thing, I usually try to avoid. But I think this photograph could even work a bit later in autumn, when the leaves are fallen down already in the top right. Because I also think, that these leaves distract through the warm tones. Maybe it were also possible to take it with the first snow - if the amount of snow were not too much - conditions which are difficult to get here. When it snows in this area, usually really much.


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Landscape Photographer & Photography Artist

Generations after Gustav Klimt

"Reality is boring, there exists already enough outside of my images."

Christian Irmler - great-great grandnephew of Gustav Klimt (6th degree)


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