Beech Trees

Yesterday we were blessed with another beautiful, albeit cold, day. Time for a visit to the Ashridge Estate – a favourite area of protected woodland, close to Ivinghoe Beacon and Bluebell woods that have been familiar sites for posts on this blog in the past.

Beech Trees produce a beautiful palette of colours in Autumn, they are one of the most eye-catching of British trees. Yesterday I took images in my usual style – getting up-close to the individual leaves – as seen in the previous post. But today I’m going to show you something quite different.

I was struck by the way light was filtering through trees on the edge of the wood – vertical slices of bright coloured light interspersed between the dark trunks of the trees. I wanted to capture that panoramic sweep of the woodland.


But also at the taking stage I had something else in mind. I knew what I would do at the processing stage.

And that was to add motion blur. The image that follows is the result of adding motion blur to the left two-thirds of the previous image.


Finally, in a third image – a different original – I painted back in the foreground leaf litter to provide a slightly different effect.


Do let me know what you think of these images. Remember to click on any image to see a higher quality enlargement.

Finally a warm welcome to all my recent followers.  If you see something you like do click the ‘like’ button, or make a comment. It’s always good to hear your opinions.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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40 Responses to Beech Trees

  1. Chillbrook says:

    I’ve been planning a trip back to the beech woods at Golitha falls for sometime now Andy for the reasons you describe, the beautiful autumn palette. I didn’t make it yesterday and the gale blowing today I wonder if there will be any leaves left by the time I get there.
    These are lovely images. I particularly like the one where you have painted the leaf litter back in. It gives the image a reference point and I think it works really well!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Adrian. It wasn’t easy to paint the base back in and create a natural feeling joined to the blurred upper section. I hope you get a chance to get to the Beech woods – the weather here today is foul!

  2. Very ethereal image Andy – putting the foreground back in really makes this work.

  3. Len says:

    Love these abstract versions of the photo Andy. Really cool treatment.

  4. Really gorgeous, Andy. I like what you’ve done to the place. 🙂

  5. Terrific Andy. I really like the what you did with the last image.

  6. seekraz says:

    I very much prefer the first image, Andy…the lighting of the trees with the more subdued, yet still definable forest floor is very appealing….

    • LensScaper says:

      Hi Scott. Thanks for the comment. Motion blur isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I tried panning during capture but really didn’t have the patience for that yesterday. It’s always fun to see what is possible and produce something a little abstract. The original has a lot of appeal but it was not naturally as sharp as it should have been.

  7. I like the third image the best – it makes me think those trees are growing very, very fast!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Melinda. The vote is certainly increasing for image three. They are very tall trees here, very few low-lying branches, I think they are all competing for canopy space and as a result this Beech wood really is quite dark in summer. As the leaves drop, light is creeping back in slowly.

  8. oneowner says:

    I love the motion blur effect, especially in the third image. Why didn’t I think of that? This can be a relatively easy effect to apply but it take a sharp mind and vision to actually do it. I like these a lot.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. I tried the in-camera panning first – hopeless. That’s very hard to get right without a tripod (I don’t carry one), and also you need ND filters (don’t carry those either). Motion blur is so easy, it feels like cheating, but the results can really be revelatory at times. You must try it! What can go wrong? – only wasted time, but not much time wasted either – it only takes a few seconds to apply, and to delete is even faster!

  9. I love love love these Andy! Especially the third image. With panning I always get something like your second image, which is beautiful. But the third, with the lower frame left sharp, and the rest blurred is fantabulous! 🙂

  10. Wonderful ethereal feel to these images, Andy.

  11. says:

    Really like the second one Andy!

  12. Beautiful! I like them all, but best of all the third one, where you have combined the straight image with the one taken with intentional camera movement. It looks like the woods are aglow. Bravo! Oops. Just reread what you wrote. This wasn’t intentional camera movement but Photoshop’s Motion Blur filter. Hmmmm. I might have to work with that idea myself . . .

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. Motion Blur is so much easier (but cheating?) than panning during the exposure. It has produced a rather nice effect certainly here. Glad you like the idea

  13. Judging by your comments Andy these are a success, and rightly so – beautiful images indeed

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks you James. I enjoyed taking these and the processing was fun too. I don’t expect we’re going to get another day as good as that this late this Autumn

  14. Pete Buckley says:

    This is the best season for photography – like those effects.

  15. Jim Nix says:

    cool and creative, nice work Andy!

  16. poppytump says:

    It looks like you captured it at exactly the right time, beech leaves in sunlight like that make for a *beautiful* autumnal photo .
    I rather fancy a walk through those mystical wavering tree trunks ….

  17. ehpem says:

    I like the middle one. I find the restored littermat jarring to my eye – the motion blurred lines are so soft and my eye kind of falls slowly down the trunks and light, and then abruptly stops. I guess that is what it is like to be an autumnal leaf, but not what I was expecting. I really like the technique though, and you vision to see this. I am thinking that the a hard foreground and sideways ‘moving’ middle and background might work better for me – more like a stream bank and water.

    • LensScaper says:

      I wasn’t entirely happy myself with the restored leaf-litter either. It wasn’t easy to achieve a natural looking transition anyway between the blur and the sharp sections, but I also liked the composition of the second image which is the one you prefer. This is really a bit of fun – so easy to do back home at the computer and the results can be very abstract. Thanks for your helpful comment.

  18. They are absolutely very lovely.

  19. Meanderer says:

    I love beech trees. These images are beautiful.

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