_DS83929I found this tree in an exposed location high up on the South Downs at a popular viewpoint known as Devil’s Dyke. John Constable the well-known Landscape Painter described this place as ‘the grandest view in the world’. Certainly there are extensive panoramic views and hopefully a future Post will document these.

The National Trust owns this place and I quote from their literature: ‘At nearly a mile long, the Dyke valley is the longest, deepest and widest ‘dry valley’ in the UK. Legend has it that the Devil dug this chasm to drown the parishioners of the Weald. On the other hand, scientists believe it was formed naturally just over 10,000 years ago in the last ice age.’ Nearby there is also evidence of an old Iron Age hilltop fort.

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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22 Responses to Fallen

  1. Your use of monochrome really works here Andy – nice image.

  2. Chillbrook says:

    A wonderful sky and a wonderful subject Andy! Superb photograph!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Adrian. I saw this and a couple of other trees from the pub at Devil’s Dyke, a short walk got me up close and the sky was very obliging – just what B&W cries out for as the background to this rather sad tree, blown down I expect by a gale

  3. alan frost says:

    Fine image Andy. Three years ago I walked the South Downs Way in memory of my sister. Saw some truly wonderful vistas and may do the walk again, this time from East to West.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Alan. It’s a walk I am looking forward to doing and I’ve already made up my mind to walk it East to West. and then I should be looking more towards the sun for much of my way, which is the way I like it.

  4. John says:

    Great picture Andy. Great composition of an interesting view and the sky is really wonderful. That tree looks tortured… must be a windy spot.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks John, I suspect this tree had been bent over for many years under the effect of the prevailing wind before it finally fell. It certainly is in a very exposed situation.

  5. A big thumbs up for this one 🙂

  6. athyfoto says:

    I really like the picture, trees always fascinate me, as do skies. I have to say it is a real John Constable sky too!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you. Skies can look rather anaemic in colour and B&W can really bring out the contrast as it has done in this shot. I like the allusion to John Constable, although I’m not sure it’s justified.

  7. Lisa Gordon says:

    Andy, this is a magnificent photograph, and so perfect in black and white.
    Looking forward to the future posts!

  8. shoreacres says:

    One of the things I’ve come to realize about black and white photos is that many of them don’t appeal to me because they’re so stark: the contrast almost seems to be too much. This is so different. There are shades upon tones upon gradations, and they help to make the photo as interesting as does the subject. I could look at it again and again.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you Linda. B&W is such a flexible medium and that is what has such appeal to me and many others. Judging how much contrast or ‘punch’ to apply to an image in the conversion to B&W is a very personal decision. Contrast so often equates to mood and and the feel of an image can be radically altered by over-doing the contrast. Hard contrast in this case would have created a threatening atmosphere, what I wanted was a bucolic feel and I’m glad you think I’ve judged it right.

  9. Len says:

    That tree with the terrific sky as a backdrop is quite stellar, especially in monochrome Andy. Don’t know if you know Scott Kelby. He runs a photography education company here in the states and sponsors Photoshop World. One of his pet peeves are photographs of dead tress. When I see photos like yours, I know he is dead wrong (at least in this case).

    • LensScaper says:

      I know Scott Kelby as a writer of numerous books on Software but am not familiar with his likes/dislikes. Just about any subject one can think of can be overdone or done badly. This tree doesn’t really amount to much in colour, but thanks to Silver Efex the sky has come up trumps and that gives the image such a lift.

  10. Very dramatic shot, Andy.

    This could have been made in West Texas…

  11. sixpixx says:

    Great shot. Very dramatic. To a big lover of colour, you do present a compelling argument for B+W.

    • LensScaper says:

      I started out as a B&W processor and printer a long time ago and I have never lost that love for that medium and all that it is capable of.

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