The Tree | November 2017
Published on: 23rd November 2017
By David Noton
I open the curtains; mist. Thick, the kind that will probably last all morning, more like fog really. Autumnal colours + mist = a life of eternal contentment. Forget the red flags in my inbox, forget breakfast; I’m heading for the woods.
Minutes later I’m walking through the woods in the cool, damp light. Can light be damp? This morning it can; as the fog swirls the branches drip with condensation. The way the trees fade into ghostly shapes in the middle distance, separating foreground from background, is so, so beautiful, and ethereal. The trick of making the most of it all photographically is to find some distinctive colour and shape as foreground interest to offset the misty backdrop. But that’s not as easy as it sounds because these woods, like most, are a jumbled mass of confusion. But I know where to head.
I’m back at The Tree, as I knew I would be. It was inevitable as soon as I opened the curtains. These are the woods less than a mile from home that Wendy and I have been walking through at least once a week for the last 22 years and this is the wonderful old beech tree which I photographed as a four seasons set a couple of years ago. We’ve developed quite a relationship now, me and The Tree.
Three hours later I emerge from the woods creatively sated but ravenous. The sun is burning through, brunch is now top of my agenda. I’ve been in the woods over three hours and seen just one startled dog walker. What a morning!
What an autumn. A week before communing with The Tree I was gazing down on the golden vineyards surrounding Chateau Chalon debating with Nicolas Logerot, my French language tutor, fellow pro and co-leader on the Franche-Comté Workshops, whether it was a belle vue or beau paysage.
In between I was exposing in Snowdonia with f11 Your Vision Winner Lorraine Heaysman; a week later we kicked off The Last Workshop on Exmoor. Good times, but whilst the Workshops have now finished the bespoke One-to-One or Small Group Tuition has not. Interested? Let us know your requirements and we’ll come up with some options.
This month, in the f11 Photography Magazine, Wendy and I report from Behind the Lens in Brittany, with an accompanying post-production video. Also on the menu is the next in the series deconstructing my digital workflow, The Low Down on lens corrections, also with accompanying video, and an additional post-production video investigating the new Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.
From our regular columnists comes Ross Hoddinott's first impressions of the Nikon D850, Bas Meelker discusses the reality behind working on commissions once you turn professional, and Ben Pipe heads from Montenegro to Albania in the second part of his series on the Balkans. In the second instalment of his series John Sloper looks at how to do your images justice when designing a photography website, and in this month's guest feature, Paul Mitchell also ventures into dense woodland. Last but definitely not least we have your pictures in the f11 Member’s Gallery.
It’s all there exclusively for our f11 Members. If you’re not yet an f11 there’s now a FREE sample edition for you to peruse before joining, and a video explaining what it’s all about. Or maybe you know or live with someone who loves photography. Dare I suggest that an f11 Membership Gift Voucher would make an excellent Christmas present? For just £39.99 for a year’s subscription your loved one would have access to the f11 Photography Magazine with all the back issues, and my three eBooks.
My three ebooks can be downloaded FREE by f11 Members, or purchased individually.
I’m just about to print The Tree, nice and big. Making a print is the final fulfilment in the photographic process. We spend our lives looking at screens, but you can’t beat a big, beautiful print. It’s what got us into photography in the first place. A mission for Wendy and I this winter is to renew the prints on the walls at home; hence The Tree print. I should mention all the images in the galleries on the David Noton Photography Website or in the f11 Photography Magazine are available as fine art prints, any size you like, mounted, framed or rolled. Just tell us what you want, we’ll give you a price and make it happen in time for Christmas, if you get your skates on.
Finally some news; I’m honoured and privileged to be confirmed as an official Canon Ambassador. The new Ambassador Program has just been launched and I’m proud to be in such exulted company. But whilst such titles are rewarding I must never forget; it all comes back to the pictures. It always does, and the picture in front of me now is The Tree. Strange, isn’t it? I travel the world, yet one of my favourite pictures of the year was shot less than a mile from home.