Taking pictures in a misty forest is actually not difficult. Fog is mystical in itself and if you combine it with the outline of an object, a tree or a house, the picture becomes naturally atmospheric.
My husband and I enjoy hiking. When the trip is dedicated to photography, we walk less and stop often to observe our surroundings and look for perspectives to take a good picture.
What does this mean to me? I am not a professional photographer, but even as a self-taught amateur, I have become aware of certain principles. One of them is the difference between the naked eye and the lens. This sounds most probably banal to professionals, but I feel the need to put it into words.
What we see with our own eyes when we are in nature, is beautiful: the display of autumn colours, a spectacular view, or a romantic sunset. Sometimes, I am convinced that what I see must make a good picture and pick up my smartphone. But what the lens shows is often quite bland and disappointing: an arbitrary segment of reality, lacking in composition and idea.
What we perceive with the naked eye is different from what the lens shows us. The lens creates a picture that constitutes a world in itself. What I see and feel when I stand in the forest and observe my surroundings will not automatically be in the picture if I pick up my camera or smartphone and just press the button.
Indeed, the picture is a world in itself, a re-creation of reality as we see it through the lens. Like a fine text, it is a conscious choice – of words or visual elements. A composition that should be consistent and inherently expressive. Some pictures have purely documentary value – remember, we were there! – but a good picture should intrigue the beholder in one way or another. Maybe the beholder feels something else than I had in mind, but it is crucial that the picture speaks for itself.
This is what I strive for. Hopefully a few of the pictures I have taken in my life speak to the beholder. This would be my greatest reward.
The iphone pictures below were taken yesterday in the forests of Northern Bohemia, near the Jezeří Castle, which was unfortunately closed and hidden in the clouds.