Spring Trees, Farley Mount / by Graham Dew

We are blessed, in the city of Winchester, in living in a small and attractive city, which is surrounded by lovely countryside that is quick and easy to access. To the west of the city is an area of mixed woods and farmland known as Farley Mount. On previous springtime visits I had noticed the blossom on a line of trees edging a field and making a boundary with the road on the other side. Last year I was keen to revisit this area and make a joiner of this line of trees, and see what I could do with the field, which is always in productive use and often has appealing tractor tyre marks crossing it.

Spring Trees, Farley Mount, 2011 © Graham Dew
Spring Trees, Farley Mount, 2011
It was a glorious morning when I arrived to park up the car, having just helped with the school run. As mentioned earlier in an earlier post, I had been ill most of last winter but now I was feeling much better – revitalized in fact. The sun was warm on my neck and the air was so clear and fresh you could drink it. I felt euphoric; a couple of weeks earlier I had been barely able to walk, and now most of my strength and energy had returned.

One of the appealing aspects of working with joiners is that you can construct a picture that is part actual and part imagined landscape. I knew I wanted to present the trees in a line on the horizon. This meant walking alongside them and shooting in pairs, using a wide angle setting on the lens, before moving onto the next. I spent a good hour making this picture. I walked in several lines, first photographing the trees, then the field at increasingly steeper angles and increased focal length. The day was blessed with a sky brushed by feathery bands of high cirrus cloud. Rather than shoot these as straight lines I decided that I wanted to construct a sky built from triumphal arches of cloud, so I shot several bands of cloud incrementally rotating the camera between each shot to build the ‘arcs-en-ciel’. 

In all, it took me about an hour to shoot all the material for the joiner. I drove home feeling very satisfied that at long last, I was getting back to doing the things I love.