We asked a few of our favorite forest photographers to tell us about some of their most enchanted woodland images.
I discovered this tree while walking on a misty, rainy, but deeply inspiring afternoon in the Lake District National Park around Keswick, Cumbria. This small patch of woodland was adorned in extraordinarily vibrant moss, with so many delightful trees and vistas of the surrounding lakes and fells. This singular tree caught my attention because of how distinctive it was compared to any of the others I saw that day. It truly looked like a tree you’d find in Middle Earth. facebook.com/garettphotography
This path lined with whimsically shaped oak trees is situated on the Veluwe in the Netherlands and was once a road that connected two small villages. Many of the trees are more than 250 years old and saw many of my ancestors pass by, which is why this is such a sacred place to me. I love oak trees for their twisting branches and storybook-like appearance. To me they depict the most magical side of reality, which is what I’m always aiming to capture. ellenborggreve.com
Neil J. Burnell
These images were shot over several months in Wistman’s Wood on Dartmoor, in Devon, England, as part of my project Mystical, which focuses on the fairy-tale atmosphere within woodlands. Wistman’s is one of the most atmospheric places I’ve visited. It’s also notoriously difficult to photograph. I probably visited it around twenty times in the last year, but it had the required mist on only two occasions. I’ve now started on a new series of images which sees me revisit Wistman’s along with other moorland woodlands. neilburnell.com
Spring is a magic season in the forests of Western Europe, but one forest stands out of this blooming spectacle—Hallerbos, just outside the Belgian capital, Brussels. It’s an old beechwood, and the forest floor is covered by one of the biggest bluebell carpets in the world. I prefer to stroll around Hallerbos early in the morning, when there are fewer visitors and the blue flowers and trees are shrouded by fog and mist. Then it’s like walking through a real fairy tale. kilianschoenberger.de
New Orleans is home to the Tree of Life, which stands in a neighborhood park, though you’d think you were in the middle of a dense forest. Estimated to be between 100 and 500 years old, it feels like something out of Tolkien. The size is overwhelming, but apparently the tree is climbable—I saw several small children attempt to get their arms around the massive branches. I love how the roots bunch up at its base, like an artist’s brush trailed bark in its wake. steveparke.com
I took this shot in Madeira, Portugal. This place is absolutely magical. It’s an ancient forest called Fanal with old laurel trees. I have been here several times, and I hope to come back again. The second image [page 52] is from Regensburg, Germany. It’s actually not made in a forest but in an alley in the city at the Oberen Wöhrd, which is a small island in the river Donau. When I was there, I didn’t have the conditions I like so much: There was no fog. Fog always gives a mystical mood to a forest. But even without fog, this place is really special. martinpodt.com