In 2014 I was shooting on assignment throughout the country, visiting several industrial locations for a client. During those trips I was usually having a Mamiya RZ67 in the boot of the car, in case I would come across a place worth capturing. Whenever I had to go to a place I hadn’t visited before, I would research the place to find good photographic locations and plan my trips that I could visit them on the way to or from the client.
This tree can be found in the Aekingerzand in national park Drents-Friese Wold. In the Dutch landscape, there are quite some areas which show a glacial influence: barren sands, with sparse vegetation. Nature preservation is trying to keep these original landscapes in certain places, one of them being this national park. I have always liked these conditions, since they allow us to isolate the trees from their surrounding, and because of the lack of tall vegetation, the influence of the elements is very distinct on them.
This particular tree made it easy for me. It is standing free in the middle of the open vegetation. This way I could find a spot to make it fit the frame the way I wanted it, and in the same time getting the angle with the sun where I wanted it. This allowed me get enough light on the tree to maintain detail in there, while in the same time including the impressive sky above it.
The open space allowed not only to separate the tree from the background, but also gave a good view on the cloudy skies. These skies have been painted frequently by a lot of famous Dutch painters since the 1600’s, but even today they make a great subject.
The low sun was casting a nice contrast on the clouds. This is something I really wanted to include. If you look at the tree, you see that most branches are on one side, with the left side being nearly completely bare.
Mamiya RZ67, 50mm