Woodland Photowalk - Moseley Bog Report
Moseley Bog Local Nature Reserve
On Tuesday 5th March, we held the third of the new monthly woodland photography walks. The idea is simple. Visit different woodlands on the first Tuesday of every month, in 2019, and spend a couple of hours together on a meetup, exploring the woodlands and taking photos.
This is the healing way of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest. Shinrin-yoku is a term that means "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing." It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
The woodland walks are aimed to promote our senses and connection to trees/woodland/nature - as we walk, observe and take in our environment we may decide to make a photograph, or not.
Moseley Bog - From The Woodland Trust - Moseley Bog Local Nature Reserve
J.R. R. Tolkien lived nearby as a child, and acknowledged the site as inspiration for the ancient forests in his books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
The site also has archaeological interest. It has two burnt mounds which date back to the Bronze Age. These are designated as Scheduled Ancient Monuments. There are also more recent remains such as the old mill dam and the foundations of Victorian greenhouses.
It was another first visit, for me, to this local ancient woodland so we started the walk with a bit of a wander to get a sense of the environment and pathways that are mainly wooden planked walkways above the wet boggy woodland ground. Gnarly roots, trunks, and moss-covered surfaces are plentiful so you can see why Tolkien was inspired by the environment. In an ideal world, we would have had fog/mist to help create that magical “Hobbit” feel but unfortunately we had pretty bright sunshine and blue skies for most of the morning.
You don’t need an array of equipment for these walks. Ideally, you will have a tripod and a polariser filter will help massively with controlling the reflective highlights on foliage and enable a much greater tonal range. As for lenses, I took the 24-70mm and 70-200mm but only used the 24-70mm on this walk. Wider angles can be great for getting vertical compositions or low down shots of gnarly roots and moss, and the 70-200 is ideal for zooming into an area to create a little cameo and selection of something.
As for the shots made on the day…
I hope you will be able to join me on the next or any future woodland photo workshop. These are different from my normal photography workshop format in that they are not restricted to six participants with my focus being the tuition and guidance of the participants. Instead, these walks are about meeting like-minded people who enjoy photography and woodlands who want to explore, share ideas, chat and enjoy a gentle stroll together. Of course, I am on hand and happy to advise, guide and answer any photography questions along the way.
Woodland Habitats to explore in 2019
Only £10 - Places filling quickly so don’t delay
Tue 2nd Apr - Clowes Wood - Earlswood, Solihull
Tue 7th May - Millisons Wood - Meriden
Tue 4th Jun - Snitterfield Wood - Stratford Upon Avon
Tue 2nd Jul - Ryton Wood - Coventry
Tue 6th Aug - Tocil Wood - Coventry
Tue 3rd Sep - Elkin Wood - Coventry
Tue 1st Oct - Piles Coppice & Brandon Wood - Coventry
Tue 5th Nov - Crackley Wood - Kenilworth
Tue 3rd Dec - Hay wood - Solihull
Take a look at what others took on the day
Not everyone sent me photos from the walk but you can see from those who did just how varied the shots made were. Each person, working alone to create an image conveying their connection and vision of their surroundings. Wonderful images from a lovely group of people. Thanks to everyone who attended, it was a special morning and I hope to see you again on another one soon.