Blaeberry Hill Birch Wood. Copyright: Graham Cadwallader.
I am very happy indeed to have come across a most amazing local website, which features stunningly wonderful black and white photographs of trees in our area. What is so eye-catching about these images is the texture, the 'feel' of what we are viewing. The interplay of shadows is also attractive and striking.
Walks in the Woods is the website of Graham Cadwallader who lives in Rothbury.
I asked Graham how he goes about getting such remarkable images:
"Most of the time I manually focus the camera on the tree I want to be in focus and sharpest. In Photo Elements there is an 'auto sharpen' enhancement that can be useful if the image is not perfectly crisp."
Like most 'tree photographers' Graham always uses a tripod. He goes on:
"I set the focal length manually; say f5.6 for only the tree to be in focus or f16 to have everything in focus. Then, the exposure is fixed by the camera. In the woods, it is almost always too dark to take handheld photographs".
The Black and White really brings out the textures, I say. Graham responds:
"Generally, what I am trying to achieve is to make every photo have some parts black and some parts white with everything else falling in between. You need to use the photo histogram to see this. I use the 'levels' tool to do this then I tend to increase the contrast."
On the website, you will find The Woods Collection, which has fabulous photos from around our area, including around Cragside.
Not only does Graham photograph trees, but he is also expert at capturing other plantlife, and natural 'things'. I particularly like his 'Ferns and Shadows' collection. I ask him about his favourite subjects:
"I am drawn to streams, trees, and ferns, often in the winter, when the shadows and contrasts are at their most intense."
I thoroughly recommend you have a look at this fabulous website. The only problem you will have is how to choose one particular photograph to purchase. However, when you see that the cost of a print is £30 for A3 size, including postage and packaging, you may well decide to buy more than one!
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