Surreal Woods

On a mild overcast day, I was walking in the nearby woods looking for any interesting macro subjects without much success. Then the trees in the woods drew my attention. The trees were tall and their trunks formed vertical parallel lines. As opposed to this, the thin short branches growing outwards from the trunks were more or less horizontal. I wanted to capture and show the perpendicular lines – verticals formed by the trunks and horizontals by their own branches. But there was one difficulty. The trunks were thick and tall whereas the branches were thin and short. If I were to emphasize on the tall trunks (choosing relatively wider focal lengths), the branches would look too insignificant and be lost in the frame. And viceversa was true if I were to zoom in and emphasize on smaller horizontal branches.

Many modern DSLR cameras have a feature called ‘mutliple exposure’. Multiple exposures are like super imposing two or more frames onto a single frame. Due to this super-imposing the end-result is often a bit surreal and blurry when the scenes/views are different. Just for some fun, I decided to try some in-camera multiple exposures. Multiple exposures also meant that I could shoot and different focal lengths on same frame! I mounted my 70-300mm lens and set the camera to multiple exposure mode (with number of exposures = 3). The first of the three exposures was shot at around 70 mm and the following two were exposed close to 200 mm (this throws the weight towards the longer focal lengths – i.e. telephoto range) – image #1.
Later on while post-processing, I decided to converted it to black & white.

Image #1: One exposure zoomed out, super imposed (in-camera) with two exposures zoomed in

I also tried a few where the two of the three exposure were close to 70mm  range and one around 200mm – image #2


Image #2: Two exposures when zoomed out, super imposed (in-camera) with one exposures when zoomed in

Twannbachschlucht Gorge

Many a time, overcast weather conditions can put off nature photographers including me, due to dull grey skies and uninteresting light. While that may be true when it comes to photographing vast landscapes, mountains, etc., I find it an ideal condition to photograph forests. During and post rain, the small streams amidst woods are full of water and most importantly, the leaves on trees and bushes display a lush green colour. The moss growing on tree trunks and rocks only add to the ambiance.

A couple of months back I chose a rainy day to take a walk in the woods nearby, to photograph a small stream that flows into a lake. It was drizzling now and then when I walked through the woods. The shiny, moist leaves were looking at their best , swaying gently with the wind. Another advantage of going out on a rainy day is that you will have the woods pretty much to yourself.

The large cloud cover acts as a mega-large softbox, diffusing the sun evenly across the forest, thereby creating a beautiful soft spread of light. Not that the sun rays filtering through these beautiful trees are unwelcome, it is just that the overcast conditions too can offer some interesting possibilities to make images.

This small waterfall is in Twannbachschlucht – a small gorge in canton Biel, west Switzerland.

Photographing small subjects in nature such as insects, small flowers, snails, etc., is something that I love. Mushrooms are surely one of them. Late summer/autumn in Switzerland is mushroom season. The smell of wet wood and decaying leaves on forest floor mean one thing – time to go looking for mushrooms. Mushroom picking is a popular activity among the locals. For me, mushrooms are beautiful little subjects to photograph. These mushrooms were not so small though – measuring about palm size approximately.

Finally a monotone take on the forest…

Keywords: twannbachschlucht, waterfalls, woods, stream, switzerland, biel, forest