Snapping branches...

November 03, 2014  •  3 Comments

In my last post I broke the news about my obsession with everything tree-related. I honestly think that over the next few years I will be reversing evolution and reverting to a more arboreal existence. With every climb I find new scenes, new angles, new light to chase. The logistics of getting cameras up trees and keeping them from high-speed meetings with the ground has been an interesting one, and I have discovered what happens when one slips from my fingers - surprisingly little, to be honest! Good old Nikon...


Andrew Walmsley Photography


However, when it comes to lighting the canopy, things become a bit more frustrating and tricky. I have spent the last couple of weeks clambering around a favourite beech tree at night, working out how to position and fix remote flashes to branches, how to set the power correctly and what colours will create the mood I'm looking for. I must have climbed several hundred metres up and down ropes just setting, resetting, and re-resetting a flash that I didn't get quite right the first time. Who needs the gym? 


Andrew Walmsley Photography


Then comes the problem of fixing the camera in place. Most of the images here were taken with a 30 second exposure to pick up the lovely light pollution of Oxford's skies - I was hoping for stars, but I think I'll have to go further afield next time. Anyway, I've started lashing a monopod to the tree and it works ok. It's amazing how much movement occurs at height though, even in barely noticeable wind - a close eye on the weather forecast would be a prudent move. Thanks must go to my long-suffering climbing buddy Tim for repeatedly staying still for extended periods in the rain... thanks, Tim!



There is one question that needs to be answered though; why am I focussing on trees? Well, other than being obsessed by climbing them from a young age, I think we take them for granted, almost forgetting that they are a living entity in their own right. As a wildlife photographer I have always spent my time searching for the feathered and the furry creatures that call the trees their home, but I've found my work becoming more focussed on including this habitat in a new way. I've also come to realise that a point of human interest can really help us to see an environment from a fresh perspective, so have been teaming up with some incredibly talented aerial acrobats and performers - more on that to come soon! For now, here is Leo testing out my harness for some future photos...


Andrew Walmsley Photography


...annnnd in contrast, here is yours truly trying something similar. More orangutan than circus performer, but I'll work on it. Check back soon for more tree-based action!


Andrew Walmsley Photography


Your photos are fantastic. But did you stop posting?
Beautiful photos
Like - found you via. A link related to tree tents, pleasantly surprised to find a fellow nikon nutter. Respect!
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