Last Sunday was the first really misty day we’ve had round here this year. Feeling the need to get out of Coronavirus confinement we decided to go for a walk to get some fresh air and enjoy the woodlands. I took my camera with me in hope rather than expectation of getting anything particularly interesting, though sometimes you can never tell what the conditions will be like. I remember going up to Beacon Wood on the Mendips on a misty autumn afternoon five years ago, only to find that the sun suddenly broke through and created some wonderful effects with the mist that I captured here.
At first it didn’t look promising. The mist was thick and the trees were the regimented stands of Forestry Commision conifers. As we walked on though, my eye started to get used to the conditions and I found scenes that pulled me in. Often these days, I have to feel some kind of pull from the landscape, something that attracts my attention subconsciously, something that says ‘There’s something here worth paying attention to’. When that happens I then have to work out more consciously what that ‘something’ is. It’s by no means infallible and it’s not a guarantee that it will be worth photographing, but for me it is a different way of connecting with the landscape through my photography.
The effect of the mist is quite strange. It conceals unnecessary detail and renders everything slightly mysterious and eery, like something in a fairy tale set in northern European woods. The atmospheric conditions, perhaps the concentration of water droplets in the mist, saturate the colours a bit more and blur the edges of everything. There is a sense of something just beyond the veil of the mist, nearby but ungraspable, a bit primeval and fantastical, perhaps not altogether welcoming
In some scenes, it feels like a stage set for Siegfried or Parsifal waiting for the hero to emerge from the forests and fulfil his destiny.
In places, almost a bit Impressionistic:
Late on in the walk I discovered these cobwebs: the first a dense web holding water droplets in a complex network of filaments; the second a double web hung with fine pearls.