Portrait of an Ash Tree in Summer

Ash Tree in the Black Mountains

A few weeks ago I wrote about my experiments with Tree Portraits - Here is a portrait of a magnificent Ash Tree in full summer "clothing" to give us something to look forward to after this long winter - Hopefully enough Ash Trees will survive the current epidemic of "chalara" (Ash dieback) so that we can enjoy these wonderful trees for many years to come.

Of willows, tree roots, fungi and bacteria....

New genetic evidence shows that tree roots, fungi, and bacteria work together to clean polluted soil.

Highly complex interactions among roots, fungi and bacteria underlie the ability of some trees to clean polluted land, according to a novel study by bioinformatics and plant-biology experts from McGill University and Université de Montréal.

Fast-growing trees, such as willows, are known to tolerate and even rejuvenate soil contaminated with petroleum by-products or heavy metals. The clean-up of soil in this way is known as phytoremediation, and the process is commonly attributed to ‘secondary metabolism’—the production of specialized compounds in plants that helps them cope with environmental stress. - read more here

Tree Portraits

I love trees!  I regard a tree as one of Nature's works of art but sometimes you just can't see the tree for the woods!  Am I being too cryptic?  Just sometimes I'd like to put a tree on its own pedestal - like an artwork in a gallery.  Removed like this from its surrounding landscape or woodland its intrinsic beauty can be more truly seen.

So I have been experimenting with what I call "Tree Portraits" ......

"A Portrait  is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person."  

Adapting this definition...

"A Tree Portrait is a a modified photographic representation of a tree intended to display the likeness, personality and even the mood of the tree."

Here are two oak tree "portraits" - one fully-clothed and one completely naked.... 

What do you think?  Please add your comments ......

Tree-portraits.jpg

Park Wood Snowfall

A very heavy snowfall in the Brecon Beacons in December 2017 made for some beautiful sights.....

 

Plas Power Woods - Lanterns, Storytelling and Fire!!

Last Sunday I was commissioned to "shoot" an enchanting event at Plas Power Woods organised by The Woodland Trust near Wrexham.  After sunset the woods were illuminated with candles, coloured lights, fairy lanterns, the glow from a firepit.  Family groups were led by a lone flute player along twinkling woodland footpaths to hear wonderful tales by lantern light and to toast marshmallows over a fire...  

Click on an image for a full screen view....

 

Wales 'Tree of the Year' competition

I was asked to shoot three of the nominated trees in the "Tree of the Year" competition organised by The Woodland Trust .....

Read about it on the BBC News and Woodland Trust websites....

More images here....

Woodland "shoots"

Over recent months I've been commissioned by the Woodland Trust to carry out photo shoots in a number of beautiful woodlands - you can see some the results by clicking on the images below.... 

 
 

On a desolate mountain somewhere near Machynlleth.....

Another shoot for the Woodland Trust took me to a desolate mountainside that is due for "re-wilding"  - it's off to a good start!

 

Bluebells in Park Wood

There are just a few English Bluebells in my local wood - Park Wood - a Woodland Trust woodland above Talgarth in the Black Mountains.  I thought I would try out a "gadget" bought at the recent Photography Show.  It's called "Case Air" and is a WiFi device that attaches to my Nikon camera and allows me to control the camera from an iPad.  This is great for macro shots like these as it means don't have to lie down in the brambles to compose my shots!

 
 

The Banyans of Seville

I've just returned from a long weekend in Seville. This is a beautiful city with wonderful buildings, parks, restaurants, bars and orange trees.  But did you know about the Banyans?  Many of the city squares and parks have a Banyan Tree or two - the Ficus Macrophylla (aka Moreton Bay Fig or Australian Banyan).

 
 

A walk through Coed Cefn on a sunny winter's day.

Coed Cefn is a Woodland Trust woodland up in the hills above Crickhowell in the Black Mountains of Wales.  Oak, Beech, Sycamore, Sweet Chestnut....  I'll let the images say the rest!

 

Ice & Snow on the Black Mountains

Here are a few "snaps" from a wonderful ridge walk on the Black Mountains today around Mynydd Bychan and Y das.

 

Ash & Stile

I see this ash tree several times a week - it is on the ridge above Park Wood near Talgarth in the Black Mountains of Wales.  I love the way ash leaves glow when the sun shines through them.

 
 

Autumn Sunset in Park Wood

A walk in the woods a couple of days ago in a very soft evening light..... 

Glasbury Arts Exhibition

Last few days of my exhibition in the Drama Studio at Gwernyfed High School, Three Cocks.

"We again have an exciting line up of exhibitors including: two paintings from the significant contemporary art collection at Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Gallery; internationally renowned surrealist painter Alan Salisbury will be exhibiting for a third time; one of Wales most exciting abstract painters Brendan Burns will be appearing for the first time, and the range of talented artists from Clyro Life Drawing group will provide a major feature. In addition our exhibition will include the display of work at the River Café Glasbury by one of the UK’s leading photographers Richard S. Greatrex."

"At Gwernfyed High School drama studio a unique piece by Cai Harris will be displayed. Responding to his A levelbrief to deconstruct and then reassemble in an artistic style, Cai turned to nature to create a stunning work, which will be complemented by a selection of Mark Zytynski's beautiful photographs of trees"

Cwm Mynach

I've just returned from a couple of days up in the Rhinog Mountains of Wales photographing a woodland for the Woodland Trust.  If you are in North Wales this is well worth a visit and it's just off the Mawddach estuary - another bonus!

Here's a sample ....

Cynon Valley Museum

I had an enjoyable day with my solo exhibition at the Cynon Valley Museum last week.  This former Ironworks in Aberdare is a wonderful museum and is about to be taken over by the local community after staving off a threat of closure.  It will be opening to the public in September - details here....   

Ancient Mountain Ash

On a common in the foothills of the Black Mountains I came across this ancient tree - a Rowan or Mountain Ash.  It must be many hundreds of years old.....

 

Curious Quercus

Last Spring I noticed a vibrant yellow-leaved tree just across the River Usk from the Nantyffin Cider Mill Inn.  I tried to capture it but there were too many intervening trees spoiling the shot. The tree is in the grounds of the Glanusk Estate and this year, with kind permission from Harry Legge-Bourke, I have my chance!  The leaves have just started to sprout and here are the first few shots taken on an overcast day.  

This is one tree that will look magnificent when the sun shines through its full leaf canopy...  It's a species of smooth(ish) barked Oak - Quercus Rubra Aurea.