Nature is an essential element in my life.
Tracing it back, I remember running for what seemed like hours in the woods during cross country running training around maybe 9 or 10 years old and loving it, feeling I could run for hours more, forever into the trees.
Even earlier I recall roaming the woods behind our house, discovering the remains of pottery, bricks and glass, and wondering what used to exist there – the buildings and the lives – and how the woods had gradually taken whatever kind of dwelling was there back into the ground.
Close to my home now, the woods contain a surprising array of abandoned vehicles – a bicycle, a jeep, half a fairground’s worth of dodgems…
I’ve visited and photographed them often.
These days, this time in the trees is as important as ever, and if anything, having a camera with me helps narrow my focus and immerse in the experience even more deeply.
Even without intentionally setting out with specific themes or projects, after a few years or a few tens of thousands of photographs, we notice the common threads emerge organically.
For me an obvious recurring subject matter is not just the plants and trees, but more specifically how they slowly reclaim the man-made objects abandoned amongst them.
So it feels like a good time to pull a few of these threads together and collate some of my favourite photographs of “When Nature Reclaims”.
Also, it’s not lost on me that being in nature – especially trees – starts to reclaim me too, returning me to a place of calm and clarity and belonging, one that I can’t connect with in the same way in towns an cities.
I expect this to be a long running theme for years to come – the need to escape to the woods and the countryside, and photographing what I find along the way.
What themes and threads have you noticed in your photography? What are the influences behind why you’re drawn to them?
Let us know in the comments below.
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