“What’s Lurking in the Trees” by Anne Oehlen

I do love photographing the coast with its expansive views and magnificent skies. That is not where I live, though, and my camera would get rusty if I waited for those moments to happen.

Where I live, there are a lot of trees and branches all around. They can make me feel claustrophobic and unable to see their beauty anymore. So, I decided to take my camera with me on my walks in the neighborhood and deliberately look up at the branches to find and photograph their beauty. Mostly, these patterns are beautiful to look at, but in a photograph, they often are just too noisy.

Just a couple of streets away from home, there is this magnificent giant oak tree. It’s impressive, and I’ve tried quite a few times to capture its powerful being, but I never felt I truly captured the tree’s spirit.

When I walked away, thinking it had escaped me again, I turned to look back and suddenly saw a kind of beast, something between panther and dragon, sitting on the branches at the right and stretching its paws. It could only be seen at a particular angle, one step to the left or the right, and it was no longer to be seen. This, and the other branches all around, limited the number of options to frame it. I took a couple of images at different focal lengths and went back the other day to get an even better image.

Never think you can return to find the same scene, as not even two moments are the same. I’ve never seen the tree spirit again, but I know it is there, which makes all the difference.

What are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

The image plays with your imagination and shows the tree’s power, even if it is only one branch.

If you could make this photo again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

That’s hard to say. Perhaps I would try to overexpose a little to reduce the number of fine branches in the frame, but I think I like it as it is.

Anne Oehlen shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Anne Oehlen, The Netherlands


Equipment and settings

Nikon Z7-II
30mm | f 9 | s 60 | ISO 320

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Comments (2):

  1. Don

    December 20, 2023 at 22:22

    Very nice! Great work and photograph Anne!

  2. Jennifer Good

    December 23, 2023 at 09:47

    A beautiful photograph!


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