oak woodland backlit in summer

Emerald Canopy

Dartmoor, UK

Dartmoor is home to some of the most diverse woodlands in Britain, including three of only five remaining high altitude oaklands in the UK. Some of the trees in these woodlands are 400-500 years old and give an insight of how vast swatches of the moorland would have looked prior to the farming of modern man. The most well known of these ancient wonders is Wistmans wood, buried high in the heart of Dartmoor. Piles Copse is situated on the southern moor and is rarely visited relative to its famous counterpart. This is in part due to its more remote location which involes a 2 mile trek. I was working on a film of Dartmoor at the time in which I wanted to feature all three woodlands throughout the four seasons. For me, the vivid greens of summer would provide a stunning backdrop and so I visited throughout July and August in hope of capturing something special. One clear evening I got the clear and calm conditions I was after. I found my composition and waited for the right light. The strong backlight from the evening sun would not only provide structure to a chaotic scene but help illuminate the flora that covers the woodland floor. As the sun dipped behind the hill beyond I realised I had captured exactly what I’d been waiting for.