Deep in the woods

Near my home is Oxleas Wood, one of the few remaining areas of ancient deciduous forest in London, dating back over 8000 years. If at all known today, Oxleas is usually associated with Severndroog Castle, an 18th century folly built to commemorate Sir William James’s conquest of Suvarnadurg fortress in western India. The Wood is much valued by the local community which has, from time to time, been obliged to defend the place from thrusting road builders and politicians.

Away from Severndroog, it’s quite possible to walk for half an hour in Oxleas without encountering another human being. The forest is enveloping and tranquil and it is this mood that I am trying to capture photographically. Dead trees, shadow patterns and leaf cover often fill the frame. There is little colour of note. I had visualised these images in monotone and created a custom preset in Lightroom with a warm cast (rather than straight greyscale) for the conversions from E6 (Provia and Velvia). I will be returning with Ilford FP4+ soon as an experiment in this project’s early stages, but here are some initial results.

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