Forests maintain a profound significance to my emotional triggers. Not only do they remind me of exciting childhood adventures a as kid, den building with my twin brother, climbing trees and hunting dear with bows and arrows, (thankfully my optimism didn’t prevail), but they are fascinating places in their own right to clamber around in, (with or without a camera).
Now as I’ve mentioned elsewere, its challenging to make good images in forests and I don’t wish to repeat myself here, but I suspect my perseverance with the subject matter is related to something profound in me, something that catalyses more personal, deeper feelings.
Now hang on a minute, ‘don’t worry’, I do not wish to use this text as a physiological breakdown of my entire feelings around forests, (I really don’t think you would have the time or interest). But it does seem clear, to me anyway, that really good photography triggers emotions that exist in the psyche of the person viewing. They are not plucked out of thin air and cannot create an emotion that wasn’t there buried somewhere deep in the memory banks. Please don’t misunderstand me here, This doesn’t mean that you have to have seen the same kind of scene to engage with it, but that if you have experienced similar environments you’re more likely to synthesise your experiences and engage on an emotional level.
Let’s take a negative example to clarify this statement. There are many images made in some spectacularly wonderful places around the world, (Antelope Canyon in the USA springs to mind) that personally I can truly respect for their execution, appreciation of form, light, movement and composition, but leave me feeling flat, unemotional. The problem I have with them is that I struggle to engage my own feelings from personal experiences, I cannot secure any kind of synthesis to hang those feelings on. This doesn’t mean that the image is not powerful, just not to me.
On a personal note here and to give you a small incite to my own emotions about this image. It was made on a dawn walk with my son; he was in the mid distance here clambering through the undergrowth with his camera aloft, following his current twitching passion and trying to photograph an elusive tree creeper. He kept shouting back to me, “Dad, can you see it?” and “look a nest” to my reply, “just stand behind that tree for a minute!” I feel so proud that he enjoys this environment and truly hope that the experiences he had on this day (and many more like it) offer him the deep love of this environment.
Landscape and travel
AlexChu, HectorRivera, chrisvannamen and 29 more