It's National Tree Week! And autumn is undoubtedly my favourite time of year to be in the forest. I know I have more of a thing for trees than most people, but I think we all enjoy the colour and the textures of an woodland, as the trees prepare to see out another winter. This is a collection of autumn woodland photographs, taken during October and November 2019.
This autumn I visited the Bavaria National Forest, in southern Germany. I was hoping to time it right for the autumn colour, and it coincided perfectly! I can honestly say it was the most spectacular forest I've ever seen. The scale and the richness of colour were far beyond anything I've seen in the UK or elsewhere. Although I've been fortunate to see the sprawling Boreal Forest of Canada and Scandinavia, the combination and variety of tree species which make up the Bavarian Forest makes it sparkle like nothing else at this time of year.
Autumn's ArrivalAs autumn takes hold of the forest, this beech tree resists the change of colour longer than those around it, which have already turned golden.
Fine art landscape photography, Bavaria National Forest, Germany.
I love a woodland pathway. They're so inviting, and I can't help but wander down them in my imagination. And they're never more enticing than when draped in gold like this.
In a rare opening, I was able to capture a wider set of trees, which again shows the richness of colour and diversity on show in an autumn woodland.
For most of the forest, there is no grand viewpoint. Just overlapping layers of trunks, branches, and leaf colour.
Cor, another walkway. And an inviting carpet of amber leaves leading the way.
I love the way the light plays off the damp tree trunks here.
This one's a close-up, exploring the bark of a silver birch tree, framed in the full spectrum of autumn leaf colour.
Stepping out from the forest itself, this looks back at the Bavarian hillside, and the scale and colour of the tree cover. This view was almost endless in some directions. A joy to behold.
The hillside beside 'Rachelsee' (or 'Rachel's Lake'), accessible via a good hike through some pristine Bavarian forest. I like the combination of different types of tree here. Each variety adds a different texture, but they combine in this natural mosaic of shapes and colours.
This tree-lined ridge appears straightforward at first, but the more you look, the less it adds up.
On reflection, there's a simple solution, sitting as it does beside Rachelsee.
Aside from Bavaria I was able to get out into the autumn woodland in the UK, and I took a few photos in the woodland around Woburn, in Bedfordshire. This is a wide panorama taken from a woodland clearing. Though it wasn't the first photo I took this autumn, the trees here are still more summery than autumnal. It's not a dynamic composition, but I enjoy these walls of trees, which present themselves more as murals than conventional photos.
I have no idea what sort of tree this is, but it was enough to distract me when I was out photographing deer earlier this autumn. Catching the light on a rainy day, it has more than a hint of Tolkien's Ents about it. The photo seemed to just compose itself; framing this apparently frail old timer against the darker greens of his peers. A perfect demonstration of how trees remain unique and charismatic well beyond their prime, and throughout their many decades of age and decay. A role model for us all :-)
The last two photos here are a slight departure from my usual style. I usually lean towards the cooler end of the colour spectrum, but these two really need the warmth of yellow that is so closely intertwined with our thoughts of autumn.
I took this last photo in an ornamental garden, and it's a Japanese maple tree; one of the most recognisable icons of autumn outside the classic forests of Europe. The misty morning and eery amber light were the perfect conditions to photograph this scene, providing a soft and even glow to the leaves and branches. In fine tuning the colour palette for this photo I was channelling the classic tones of the 17th & 18th century oil paintings, which would frequently feature countryside foliage. Japanese MaplePhotographed as autumn peaked, in this ornamental garden, in the UK.
So that was my autumn. I've got some fun owl photos to share soon. I can't promise they'll be next, but I'm hoping so.
In the meantime did you know that I've teamed up with the World Land Trust to plant a tree for every print I sell? To join in and have a tree planted, take a look at my online galleries and order via my website. Every photo is Buy One Get One Tree!
Post by George Wheelhouse, 2019.