The Epping Forest Project, Phase 4 – April.

April 2018 – Epping Forest.

April was busy, so I did not get a lot of time to get to the forest. With the New Zealand and Australia trip taking up the second half of the month I only had two weekends free for a wander with the camera. I took a drive up to High Beech Church the first weekend of the month, feeling I had an obligation to myself to do it.

I have not been feeling particularly inspired lately, I am bored with my photography and am going through another low period where I feel every image I take is rubbish, my camera is rubbish, and I cannot believe I am still bothering to take photos. I feel like I should stick to walking the forest and enjoying the images of others more worthy than me.

One of the reasons for deciding to do a yearlong project was to keep myself motivated to take pictures. Going to the forest is something I am generally keen to do and we all know that being in nature is good for mental health so sticking to this project has many benefits.

This walk was over a month ago. I vaguely recall only having a short amount of time, so chose to go a place that was familiar; a gentle slope down into a valley, both sides hosting small glades of young silver birches amongst older beech and scrubby holly and hornbeams. Knowing I should be able to find at least one image there, one for the end of year calendar (I hope).

Though I enjoyed being out, I wasn’t in the right head space, I took a few pictures, mainly because I felt I had to. Perhaps coming back to a place I knew well was a bad idea. The idea of the project was to explore more broadly, yet I am stuck in the familiar. I also hate my camera now, and have started blaming it for my lack of creativity. I hate that it is heavy, that it is old, I see it as an impediment to something. Though I know this is complete rubbish and any block is me. It is not impeding anything; there is nothing to impede.

Spring had only just started, last time I was here the forest was covered in snow, though I was surprised at how little green there was. Autumnal colours were still prevalent, as were a couple of downed trees.

Though this one was not going anywhere at all. I wonder how old it is?

Void of anything that interested me photographically I continued with my experimentation with intentional camera movement (ICM) , or impressionist photography, as I call it. This grove of young silver birch proved a good range of colours to experiment with some vertical panning.

I know this technique has been done to death, and I have used it myself, but I do like the range of options it can provide for image making. The following three images were all taken of a different grove of silver birch, without moving the tripod.

I have also been experimenting with another style of ICM, for a more painterly type of image. I am trying to come up with something that approaches the pointillist style, mixed with classic impressionism.

Mildly disappointed with what I had achieved in the short time I was out, I headed back towards the lovely High Beech Church, my parked car and ultimately, home.