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Morning light in young pine

The first strong rays of morning sun burn off the last of the fog hanging in a dense young pine stand in the boreal forest of north-western Alberta, Canada

Morn­ing light in young pine stand

This patch of for­est was pret­ty much the oppo­site of the one in yesterday’s pho­to­graph — it was a thick, messy, sec­ond-growth tan­gle of young pine, alder, and oth­er shrubs. But when the fog start­ed burn­ing off, and the first strong rays of sun start­ed pierc­ing through to the for­est floor it was so beau­ti­ful, it almost made up for how soak­ing wet I was walk­ing through it (and it smelled amaz­ing too!)

Find­ing an inter­est­ing com­po­si­tion in the dense bore­al under­sto­ry is one of my favourite pho­to­graph­ic chal­lenges. If you’re inter­est­ed in this pho­to, I have a port­fo­lio of sim­i­lar images enti­tled “Branch­es”. You can find it by click­ing here, or fol­low­ing the nav­i­ga­tion bar up top. Here’s the descrip­tion that I wrote for that port­fo­lio:

There are times when I stop while walk­ing through the dense under­sto­ry com­mon in the bore­al for­est and aspen park­land to admire the com­plex beau­ty of the entwined branch­es, wil­lows, grass­es, and leaves. Then I bring my cam­era up, and as I look through the lens the com­plex­i­ty turns to chaos as the lens com­press­es the scene onto a two-dimen­sion­al plane. This is when the chal­lenge (and fun) begins. By mov­ing the cam­era a few degrees to one side, chang­ing the focal length by a few mil­lime­ters, or open­ing the aper­ture a few stops, a com­po­si­tion may be found that is bal­anced, pleas­ing to the eye, and cap­tures some of the beau­ty entan­gled in these forests.

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